AT&T can’t catch a break. Now it seems that the DoJ has filed another lawsuit against the telecom giant. Turns out that AT&T isn’t doing enough to combat fraud over the Telecommunications Relay Service (aka the teletype system for the deaf).
The United States alleges that AT&T violated the False Claims Act by facilitating and seeking federal payment for IP Relay calls by international callers who were ineligible for the service and sought to use it for fraudulent purposes. The complaint alleges that, out of fears that fraudulent call volume would drop after the registration deadline, AT&T knowingly adopted a non-compliant registration system that did not verify whether the user was located within the United States. The complaint further contends that AT&T continued to employ this system even with the knowledge that it facilitated use of IP Relay by fraudulent foreign callers, which accounted for up to 95 percent of AT&T’s call volume. The government’s complaint alleges that AT&T improperly billed the TRS Fund for reimbursement of these calls and received millions of dollars in federal payments as a result.
Heh. As Ron Paul would put it, “don’t steal–the government hates competition”.. But yeah, if DoJ proves this in court, AT&T is screwed.