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The U.S. Department of Justice has charged a Libby man with making thousands of illegal robo-calls laced with racist and threatening messages.

Scott Rhodes, 52, is accused of violating the Truth in Caller ID Act by making 4,959 robocalls with falsified caller ID information, with the intent to cause harm, according to a DOJ press release.

The complaint, filed Sept. 27 in federal district court in Missoula, seeks a $9.9 million penalty and an injunction to bar Rhodes from similar actions in the future.

"Over 2,000 of the spoofed robocalls allegedly targeted residents of Charlottesville, VA, during the investigation and prosecution of James Alex Fields Jr., who was responsible for killing one woman and injuring dozens during the 'Unite the Right' rally in August 2017," the DOJ press release stated. The spoofed robocalls including messages with anti-Semitic and racist language, as well as body-shaming.

Rhodes also allegedly made hundreds of robocalls targeting residents of Brooklyn, IA, regarding a local woman's murder.

“Combatting illegal robocalls is a top consumer protection priority of the FCC,” FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel stated in the release. “In this case, the FCC’s investigation found an ugly pattern of spoofing used to bombard and target communities with malicious robocalls.”

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