A Polk County judge has order a professional fundraising company to stop calling Iowans.
Attorney General Tom Miller has investigated Associated Community Services on several occasions, but the most recent judge’s order stems from the company’s refusal to provide a representative to answer questions under oath about its response to a previous consumer fraud subpoena regarding missing evidence of recorded solicitation calls.
“We found it curious that, after months of fighting over whether they had to produce recordings of phone solicitations, the company claimed that the recordings had ceased to exist,” Miller said. “Then the company came up with recordings after all, but they were suspiciously incomplete. We issued a subpoena to put a company representative under oath to account for the missing recordings, and the company refused to comply. So we took it to a judge, and the judge rightly sent a strong message to the company by stopping it in its tracks.”
In 2010 the Consumer Protection Division sued ACS for misleading Iowans in solicitation calls. The company agreed to change their ways and paid $35,000 to the consumer fraud enforcement fund, but in 2011 more complaints from Iowans brought Miller’s office back to court with ACS. The company has worked to solicit funds for organizations including: Vietnam Veterans of Iowa, Cancel Fund of America, Children’s Cancer Fund of America, and The Breast Cancer Society.
ACS is barred from calling Iowans until it allows a representative to comply with the subpoena.