Montana Man Facing Nearly $10 Million in Fines for Hateful Robocalls

NEW YORK -

Scott Rhodes, 52, of Libby, Montana is facing $9.9 million in fines for thousands of “unlawful and malicious spoofed robocalls” according to complaint filed by the Department of Justice.

Rhodes is accused of making 4,959 illegal robocalls with false caller ID information with “the intent to cause harm.” These antisemitic, racist and bigoted messages were sent to people in several states.

Of these suspected robocalls, 2,000 were made to the residents of Charlottesville, Virginia during the trial of a neo-Nazi who has since been sentenced to life in prison for murdering a woman and injuring others during the 2017 rally of neo-Nazis and white supremacists. The messages specifically targeted the town’s Jewish mayor, Michael Signer.

In another cruel instance, Rhodes allegedly left messages to the town of Brooklyn, Iowa, and mocked the residents about the recent killing of a young woman.

After people reported the threatening messages to the authorities, the Federal Communications Commission investigated and traced them to Rhodes. Charges are being brought against him for violating the Truth in Caller ID Act.

“It is unlawful to spoof caller ID numbers to trick consumers into answering unwanted phone calls with the intent to defraud, cause harm or wrongfully obtain anything of value,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton for the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The department will work with its agency partners to vigorously enforce the telemarketing laws that prohibit these practices.”

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smarcus@hamodia.com