Verizon Paying $17 Million In FCC Fraud Case [telecom]

Verizon Paying $17 Million In FCC Fraud Case, But Could Have Been Docked Much More

Telecom giant should have paid $50 million plus, one commissioner says.

By Aaron Pressman

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is under fire for letting Verizon get off easy by settling a high-profile over-billing investigation.

FCC chairman and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai agreed to close the case with the carrier repaying $17 million to the government's E-rate program that subsidizes Internet connections for schools and libraries. Though the FCC won't publicly explain how the amount was calculated, it relates to excess payments Verizon received under the program in New York City schools thanks to a crooked consultant who was later imprisoned for fraud and theft. Verizon says it wasn't aware of the fraud but concedes that it received some payments "in error."

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