The operators of DOTAuthority.com, a motor carrier registration service, have agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on charges that they falsely claimed association with government agencies in order to trick small trucking companies into using their services.

In 2016, the FTC filed a complaint against DOTAuthority.com Inc., alleging that “the defendants have taken in more than $19 million from thousands of small businesses by sending misleading robocalls, emails, and text messages that create and reinforce the false impression that they are, or are affiliated with, the USDOT, the UCR system, or another government agency. As noted in the FTC’s complaint, the defendants used official-sounding names, official-looking websites, warnings of $1,000 in civil penalties or fines for non-compliance, and threats of imminent law enforcement to trick consumers into using their registration services instead of using official government website services.”

Associated defendants in the FTC complaint against DOTAuthority.com include James P. Lamb, Uliana Bogash, DOTFilings.com Inc., Excelsior Enterprises International Inc., and JPL Enterprises International Inc.

Lamb countersued the FTC over their lawsuit in 2017.

Lamb has responded to the reporting about the FTC settlement with a statement published on LinkedIn. In the statement, Lamb refers to the the FTC’s actions as a “nuisance case” and describes the case as “government overreach at best, a failed political hit job to disgrace me at worst”. You can click here to read Lamb’s full statement.

Per the settlement order, the defendants have been ordered to pay the $900,000 within a day. The defendants must also refrain from misrepresenting government affiliation, be upfront about fees, and make it clear to customers that they are a third party service.