Nearly $90 million in fines handed down for government-funded phone fraud

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by Chris Nagus / News 4 | @ChrisNagusKMOV

KMOV.com

Posted on December 12, 2013 at 12:38 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 12 at 12:40 AM

 (KMOV) – More fines issued for those involved in a government- funded “free phone” fiasco following a News 4 Investigation.

Two companies accused of fraud first played off the allegations to News 4’s Chris Nagus but now face more trouble with the Federal Communication Commission with tens of millions in total fines.

People who weren’t low income were being targeted with an opportunity to sign up for a government-funded cell phone. It came from Cintex Wireless, based in Maryland.

The company collected millions off the federal program. A man claiming to be a warehouse manager seemed clueless about the offers arriving in Missouri.

Paul Green was the man in charge, but he was out of town when Nagus knocked on his door. 

Cintex attorneys insisted they were following the rules but, on Wednesday,  the FCC slapped them with a  $9.5 million fine for allegedly breaking the rules.

News 4 exposed another company who was sending phones to St. Louis residents who never signed up; all courtesy of the government, with sign ups through Life Wireless, a division of Telrite.

The FCC slapped this company with a $22 million fine.

Another company, Global Connection was also hit with a $12 million fine on Wednesday.

Over the past 90 days, 11 different providers have faced 90 million in fines with Wednesday’s announcement. Those companies have to pay up or appeal.

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