Dish Network Corp has agreed to pay $210 million to the U.S. government and four states to resolve a long-running lawsuit claiming it made millions of illegal phone calls to sell and promote satellite TV and programming services. According to a filing on Friday with the federal court in Springfield, Illinois, Dish will pay a $126 million civil fine to the United States and the remaining $84 million to California, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio. The lawsuit began in March 2009, accusing Englewood, Colorado-based Dish and its contractors of dialing consumers on the Do Not Call Registry, and placing calls that delivered prerecorded or "robocall" messages. Dish was accused of violating several federal and state telemarketing and consumer fraud laws, and in June 2017 was found liable in a 475-page decision by U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough for more than 65 million calls. The lawsuit came after Dish settled related claims by the other 46 U.S. states. "Dish Network flouted the rules and now they will pay," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. In a separate statement, Dish said it maintains "rigorous telemarketing compliance procedures and policies. While we respectfully disagree with the underlying liability judgment, which involves telemarketing calls made between 2003 and 2011, this matter is now resolved." Myerscough had ordered that Dish pay $280 million and hire a telemarketing compliance expert. The federal appeals court in Chicago upheld most of her liability findings in March, but ordered that damages be recalculated to reflect the "harm done" rather than a percentage of Dish's profits. The case is U.S. et al v Dish Network LLC, U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, No. 09-03073. REUTERS
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