TEXAS FINES AD FAXERS

Perhaps it was the fax to the Texas Attorney General’s office that did it.

Dallas-area firm American Blastfax was notified last October that its business of sending up to two million unsolicited fax advertisements per month to Texas companies violated both telephone and trade practice codes.

Still, the father-son team of Michael and Greg Horne, along with 15 employees, kept sending faxes from third-party advertisers to their unauthorized database of 500,000 names, which were culled from phone books, public sources and purchased lists. Among the fax numbers on the list: that of the state attorney general’s office.

The faxes kept coming right up until the day before the company’s March trial date. At that time, according to court documents, the firm disbanded and both Hornes stated their intent to file for personal bankruptcy.

Nevertheless, a federal district judge last week ordered the pair to pay more than $465,000 in fines for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Should the Hornes ever do business again, they will be required to disclose both the ruling and the two acts on all future faxes.