DEAD EAGLE: FCC Pulls the Plug on Rising Eagle With $225,000,000 PENALTY on 150,000 SPOOFED Calls

The FCC is really stepping up its enforcement game.

Just last week we discussed the $5MM hammer dropped on a couple of guys who were trying to suppress votes using robocalls.

Today we discuss the FCC refusing to lower a $225MM penalty against marketer Rising Eagle Capital Group.

Per the ruling: Rising Eagle, under the direction of John Spiller and Jakob Mears, made robocalls to American and Canadian consumers on behalf of its clients. While there were apparently over a billion of these calls made, only 150,000 were at issue in the ruling.

As to those 150,000 the FCC confirmed “that they were spoofed.” Specifically, “Rising Eagle used at least 60 caller IDs assigned to persons other than Rising Eagle or that were unassigned.”


So whereas the FCC and courts sometimes confuse the ide of “spoofing” with “local touch DIDs” these numbers really were spoofed in the true sense–they belonged to a different company entirely.

And contrary to some of the more cursory investigations we’ve seen, the FCC really dug into this one– staff interviewed 52 of the consumers who received robocalls from Rising Eagle. Apparently, none of the called consumers whom the Bureau interviewed gave permission to receive the calls.

FCC staff also listened to nearly 2,000 messages and determined that the messages did not include the name of Rising Eagle or its clients at the beginning of the prerecorded voice message or a callback telephone number. All of this is a violation of the CFR.

But it wasn’t the TCPA or the CFR that drove the forfeiture order here–it was the Truth in Caller ID Act. The TICIDA prohibits altering caller ID information “with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value.”

The FCC inferred intent to defraud from the content of the messages– which is odd. The messages falsely stated the consumer could obtain policies from big name carriers that RE wasn’t actually working with.

While that is bad–and probably illegal under the TSR–I am not sure how fraudulent content tracks to fraudulent caller id transmission. I suppose intent to defraud in one way is sufficient to constitute fraud in every way, but it seems like there is a missing link here– proof that the use of the false caller ID was done intentionally to defraud, cause harm or obtain value.

Regardless, the FCC was unmoving in rejecting all of Rising Eagle’s arguments. It concluded it had, in fact, sent the messages using a spoofed ID to defraud–and it hit RE with a $225MM penalty as a result.

Notably, while RE argued it was just a platform/conduit for calls the FCC found it “highly culpable”:

As we found in the Forfeiture Order, Rising Eagle is highly culpable for the violations. Rising Eagle admitted that it configured the dialer, uploaded the messages, input the phone numbers to be called as well as the caller ID numbers, and connected the dialer to a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider to place outbound calls to consumers. Furthermore, Rising Eagle informed the Traceback Group that it intentionally stopped checking its calling list against the Do Not Call Registry because it found that more people would answer its calls. Rising Eagle also had direct control over the volume of robocalls made on behalf of its clients. 


Look the stakes here could not be higher. Anyone out there spoofing calls had better take a look at what happened to Rising Eagle and reconsider their practices.

It is worth noting that the FCC could have come after RE on a bunch of different theories, but it chose the TICIA on purpose– to make sure folks know that spoofing alone carries serious consequences.

If you have any questions reach out. These are obviously very serious issues–and platforms and marketers need to be aware that following the orders of their clients may still result in a catastrophic regulatory order like this one.

Here for you.



  1. The untold sad part of this story is that the FCC will likely not collect one cent from Rising Eagle, which will likely reopen under a different corporate name.

  2. Yep, sad but true…Same tactic as Deserve to Win podcast guest Derick Richardson, the initially, alleged, poor lead guy to be devastated by soon to come (hopefully) FCC lead gen killing changes.

    Turns out Eric had foot in mouth when good ‘ol boy Derick actually stated he told the judge in his case go ahead fine me, I’ll close down and reopen tomorrow you won’t get a penny outta me!!!!!

    Turns out he was buying old leads and using Pakistani call centers to “warm them up” (!!!) after which he would turn around and resell the leads!!! Psst: Eric just a thought…need to screen those guests a tad bit better, or not, I really loved it 😉

  3. so glad to see this. And really don’t care about the Local Touch DID’s vs. Spoofed – they are all scum. Nice thing about the Local Touch DID’s, we can phone back from throwaway VOIP and abuse the hell out of the employee. Seriously, f these people. Glad to see they will be paying and hope other scum has to pay as well. Love what you’re doing, helps us know who the bad guys are so we can expose and notify their neighbors just who is responsible for the spam calls. LOL

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