State audit finds few fines

The number of complaints about violations of the do-not-call registry have more than doubled since 2014, according to an audit by the state comptroller, but only one case was referred last year for legal action and few fines collected.

Telemarketers are supposed to check the list, which contains the names of 14 million New York residents, before they make phone solicitations.

The comptroller said that while the number of complaints rose from 217,000 to 454,000 between 2014 and 2017, the number of cases referred by the state Division of Consumer Protection to legal counsel fell from 15 annually to one, and the amount of fines imposed annually fell from $1.9 million to $44,000.

The comptroller pointed to the many vacancies in the division, including its director of investigations and program attorney, and inadequate recordkeeping.

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