HP agrees to $16M settlement in e-Rate fraud case

HP's settlement with the Justice Department provides for audits of the company's e-Rate business.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has reached a civil settlement with Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) for alleged e-Rate fraud, following an extensive investigation by the DOJ and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the two agencies said Nov. 10.

Acting on tips from whistleblowers, the FCC and the DOJ investigated allegations that contractors working with HP and other companies lavished gifts on Dallas Independent School District and Houston Independent School District personnel in order to get e-Rate contracts that included some $17 million in HP equipment.

According to the allegations, contractors working with HP provided meals and entertainment—including trips on a yacht and tickets to the 2004 Super Bowl—to school district officials to get inside information and win e-Rate contracts that were supposed to be awarded through a competitive-bidding process.…Read More

Your guide to securing 2011 e-Rate dollars

Following valuable tips could lead to big e-Rate payoffs.
Following valuable tips could lead to big e-Rate payoffs.

Since its inception in 1997, the federal e-Rate has disbursed more than $19 billion in discounts to help schools and libraries purchase telecommunications services and internet access.

Over the years, the e-Rate has undergone minor tweaks to prevent waste and bring more value to applicants. This year, however, marks the biggest set of changes in more than a decade. To make sure you’re getting the most out of the program, read on.

What you should know about the 2011 e-Rate program…Read More

What you should know about the 2011 e-Rate program

e-Rate applicants should pay equal care to program changes as well as what has remained the same.
e-Rate applicants should pay equal care to program changes as well as what has remained the same.

It’s in with the new … and in with the old as well: To fully leverage 2011 e-Rate funding in boosting broadband access, it’s important to understand the latest changes to the program (and there are many)—but don’t overlook the things that didn’t change, too.

The more things change…

The regulatory adoptions and clarifications highlighted in the Federal Communications Commission’s Sixth Report and Order align with the agency’s desire to streamline the application process, further protect against waste, fraud, and abuse, and codify the rule regarding gifting—as well as articulate the community usage of e-Rate funded resources.…Read More

e-Rate administrator: New rules should help fund more applicants


e-Rate officials say the federal program is updated for the 21st century.
e-Rate officials say the federal program has been updated for the 21st century.


The head of the agency that administers the federal e-Rate program had strong words of support for new FCC rules that he said would further streamline the program and should deliver funding to a greater number of applicants.…Read More

New Jersey businessmen sentenced to jail for e-Rate fraud

The former co-owners of a New Jersey computer services provider each have been sentenced to 27 months in prison on charges of conspiracy to defraud the federal e-Rate program, which helps bring internet access to schools and libraries, PC World reports. Benjamin Rowner and Jay H. Soled, former owners of DeltaNet, also were sentenced to pay $271,716 each in restitution to the Universal Service Administrative Co. (USAC), which administers the e-Rate for the Federal Communications Commission. Rowner and Soled, working with Leonard Douglas LaDuron, conspired to defraud the e-Rate by submitting false and misleading statements and concealing material facts from USAC, the Justice Department said. The conspiracy, which ran from 1999 to 2003, reportedly affected at least 13 schools across the country. LaDuron, former owner of Serious ISP, Myco Technologies, and Elephantine, was sentenced on Dec. 16 to serve 57 months in jail and to pay $238,607 in restitution. LaDuron’s mother, Mary Jo LaDuron, fraudulently represented herself as an independent consultant for school districts and steered e-Rate contracts to companies owned by her son, Rowner, and Soled, the Justice Department alleged. Mary Jo LaDuron plead guilty to making false statements in July…

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