Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive


Wednesday, August 22, 2001

CORNYN ANNOUNCES COURT JUDGMENT AGAINST BROADCAST FAX BUSINESS

American Blast Fax, Inc. ordered to pay fines and court costs

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today announced a federal court judgment against a company that illegally sent unsolicited faxes to 500,000 fax machines in Dallas, Houston, and Austin. American Blast Fax, Inc. and its owners, Mike Horne and Greg Horne, must pay the State a fine of $465,375 (plus interest) along with $20,000 in attorney fees.

U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks found that the Defendants violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. In addition to the civil penalties, American Blast Fax, Inc. and the Hornes are prohibited from:

  • Using any fax machine, computer, or other device to send advertisements without the express consent of the recipient;
  • Failing to include information disclosing the identity of the fax sender and the time and date sent even if the recipient has given consent to receive fax advertisements;
  • Using any fax machine, computer or other device to send fax advertisements if recipients have previously requested that such information not be sent to them;
  • Sending or offering to send any fax advertisement on behalf of another person to a fax machine in Texas without disclosing the existence of the TCPA and the court's ruling;
  • Misrepresenting their compliance with the TCPA;
  • Representing, directly or by implication, that the court and the attorney general's office have approved the practice of sending unsolicited fax advertisements within Texas; and
  • Entering into any partnership, corporation, sole proprietorship or any other legal structure for the purpose of avoiding compliance with the court's judgement.

In addition to these conditions, the company must also keep records of those who give permission to have fax advertisements sent to them.

"We are pleased the court has taken a firm stand against American Blast Fax," said Attorney General Cornyn. "My office will continue to prosecute companies that refuse to play by the rules. Illegal business practices will not go unpunished in Texas."

Before filing suit in February 2000, the Attorney General's office received more than 200 unsolicited fax advertisements from American Blast Fax, Inc., based in Addison, Texas. Many consumers and business owners also filed complaints against the company.

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