On February 6, a bipartisan group of 51 attorney general (AG) sent a warning letter to Life Corporation (Life Corp.) for allegedly engaging in an illegal robocall campaign that they claim was intended to deter New Hampshire voters from participating in the primary on January 23. The calls purportedly used artificial intelligence (AI) to impersonate the voice of President Biden, telling recipients to refrain from voting in the presidential primary.

The Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force (Task Force) is a 51-member collective of state AGs focused on investigating and pursuing enforcement actions against various entities that are identified as being responsible for significant volumes of illegal and fraudulent robocall traffic. The Task Force initiated its investigation after Kathy Sullivan, a former NH Democratic Party chair who now runs a super PAC supporting the Biden campaign, issued a complaint that her personal cell phone number was showing up on the caller ID screens of those receiving the calls. The Task Force’s investigation found that the calling phone number was illegally spoofed, and that some of the spoofed calls were marked with A-level STIR/SHAKEN attestations by Lingo Telecom, LLC. An “A-level attestation” is an indicator that the generator of the calls had the legal right to use the allegedly spoofed number. Further, after reviewing more than 20,000 calls made from the illegally spoofed number, the Task Force concluded that some of the calls exhibited patterns that were consistent with a Telephony Denial of Service (TDoS) attack — an intentional attack on the telephony/voice service communications system of an organization intended to disrupt service by flooding the network with multiple and malicious inbound calls.

Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) promulgated rules that restrict the use of phone calls made with automated telephone dialing systems and calls delivering artificial or prerecorded voice messages. The TCPA also generally prohibits solicitation calls to numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. State AGs have the power to bring enforcement actions against calls that violate these rules, and they can recover considerable civil penalties for each finding of a TCPA violation. The warning notice indicated that, if further investigation shows that Life Corp. continues to originate similar calls, further enforcement action may be pursued. New Hampshire AG John Formella separately announced that the state’s Election Law Unit is issuing a cease-and-desist order to Life Corp. for violating state election laws, and they reserve the right to take further enforcement actions based on its prior conduct. In response to the activity in New Hampshire, the FCC also released a declaratory ruling on February 8, making AI-generated robocalls illegal effective immediately.

Why It Matters

Over the years, federal and state regulators have focused their efforts on combatting robocalling by bringing coordinated enforcement actions, forming cross-agency working groups, and supporting federal legislation designed to prevent the practice. With the explosion of AI technologies and the use of deepfakes for malicious purposes, we expect to see increased attention from regulators on the interplay between AI and communications to protect consumers from intentionally deceptive practices.


Troutman Pepper State Attorneys General Team

Ashley Taylor – Co-leader and Firm Vice Chair
Ashley is co-leader of the firm’s nationally ranked State Attorneys General practice, vice chair of the firm, and a partner in its Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group. He helps his clients navigate the complexities involved with multistate attorneys general investigations and enforcement actions, federal agency actions, and accompanying litigation.
Clay Friedman – Co-leader
Clayton is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group and co-leader of the State Attorneys General practice, multidisciplinary teams with decades of experience crafting effective strategies to help deter or mitigate the risk of enforcement actions and litigation.
Judy Jagdmann
Judy is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy and Enforcement (RISE) practice, based in the Richmond office. She brings experience serving as chair and commissioner of the Virginia State Corporate Commission (VSCC) from 2006 through 2022, which includes regulating the utilities, insurance, banking, and securities industries. She also served as Virginia’s attorney general from 2005-2006.
Stephen Piepgrass
Stephen leads the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group. He focuses his practice on enforcement actions, investigations, and litigation. Stephen primarily represents clients engaging with, or being investigated by, state attorneys general and other state or local governmental enforcement bodies, including the CFPB and FTC, as well as clients involved with litigation, with a particular focus on heavily regulated industries.
Avi Schick
A former deputy attorney general of New York, Avi applies his experience in bet-the-company matters, representing clients in criminal and civil investigations and enforcement actions before state and federal regulators, prosecutors and enforcement agencies.
Michael Yaghi
Michael is a partner in the firm’s State Attorneys General and Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Groups, nationwide teams that advise clients on consumer protection enforcement matters and other regulatory issues.
Samuel E. “Gene” Fishel
Gene is a member of the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) practice, based in the Richmond office. He brings extensive regulatory experience, having most recently served as senior assistant attorney general and chief of the Computer Crime Section in the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia, and as special assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia for 20 years.
Tim Bado
Tim is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group, where he represents corporations and individuals facing potential civil and criminal exposure. Tim’s experience in government investigations, enforcement actions, and white-collar litigation spans a number of industries, including financial services, pharmaceutical, health care, and government contracting, among others.
Chris Carlson
Chris Carlson represents clients in regulatory, civil and criminal investigations and litigation. In his practice, Chris regularly employs his prior regulatory experience to benefit clients who are interacting with and being investigated by state attorneys general.
Natalia Jacobo
Natalia is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy and Enforcement (RISE) practice. She focuses her practice on two primary areas: government contracting and state attorney general work.
Namrata Kang
Namrata (Nam) is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group, based in the Washington, D.C. office. She routinely advises clients on a wide variety of state and federal regulatory matters, with a particular emphasis on state consumer protection laws relating to consumer financial services and marketing and advertising.
Michael Lafleur
Michael is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy, and Enforcement Practice Group. Based out of the firm’s Boston office, Mike has deep experience in litigation, investigations, and other regulatory matters involving state-level regulators and state attorneys general.
Susan Nikdel
Susan is an associate in the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Practice Group, and focuses her practice on consumer financial services matters. She has defended several of the nation’s largest and most influential financial institutions in individual and class action litigation involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and other consumer privacy statutes.
John Sample
John is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group. He focuses his practice on a wide range of general and complex litigation matters, including shareholder disputes, fraud, products liability, breach of contract, and Biometric Information Privacy Act claims.
Whitney Shephard
Whitney is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group. She represents clients facing state and federal regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, as well as related civil litigation.
Trey Smith
Trey is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement Practice. He focuses his practice on helping financial institutions and consumer facing companies navigate regulatory investigations and resulting litigation.
Daniel Waltz
Daniel is a member of the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group and State Attorneys General team. He counsels clients in connection with navigating complex government investigations, regulatory compliance, and transactions, involving state and federal government contracting obligations. Drawing on his broad experience as a former assistant attorney general for the state of Illinois, Daniel is a problem solver both inside and outside the courtroom.
Stephanie Kozol
Stephanie is Troutman Pepper’s senior government relations manager in the state attorneys general department.