By Gautham Nagesh and Brendan Sasso - 02/09/12 11:26 PM EST
E-Rate fraud draws prison sentence: The former owner of two Illinois-based tech firms, Gloria Harper, was sentenced Thursday to 30 months in prison for providing bribes and kickbacks to school officials in connection with the federal E-Rate program. Harper is one of 19 individuals that has been sentenced to prison for defrauding the federal subsidy program for disadvantaged schools and libraries. She pled guilty last June, when her two conspirators were both sentenced to a year and a day in prison.
“The E-Rate program brings enormous benefits to students everywhere. I applaud today’s action by DOJ. This successful prosecution reflects the collaborative efforts of the DOJ and FCC to protect E-rate from waste, fraud, and abuse, and to deter future misconduct," said Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski.
Kohl slams GOP spectrum bill: Senate Antitrust subpanel Chairman Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) urged congressional lawmakers to drop a provision in the House spectrum legislation that would prevent the Federal Communications Commission from imposing eligibility restrictions on companies that bid on the airwaves. Kohl argued the provision would impede the FCC's ability to promote competition and harm consumers. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has argued the bill would allow AT&T and Verizon to buy up all the spectrum at auction, a fear shared by smaller wireless providers. But AT&T argued the FCC shouldn't "stack the deck" in favor of smaller firms.