U.S. Gov Says Sprint Overcharged for Wiretaps
The U.S. government has filed a lawsuit against Sprint, alleging the company overcharged for wiretapping services by $21 million. Carriers are required to assist the government and must maintain certain types of equipment to do so. Carriers are allowed to bill the government for the upkeep of that equipment. In this particular case, San Francisco U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag is charging Sprint with filing false claims during the period between January 2007 and July 2007, inflating costs by as much as 58%. Carriers are not allowed to use the maintenance money to improve their network or other equipment. "Because Sprint's invoices for intercept charges did not identify the particular expenses for which it sought reimbursement, federal law enforcement agencies were unable to detect that Sprint was requesting reimbursement of these unallowable costs," said the government. Sprint denies the charges and says all its invoices comply with the law. It will defend itself vigorously. Sprint is also facing a separate tax case in New York state, where the state says Sprint failed to collect enough taxes from customers.
Sprint to Face $300M Tax Fraud Charge In Court
Sprint lost its bid to have a $300 million lawsuit dismissed and will now face the State of New York in court. The office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman alleges that Sprint failed to collect about $100 million in taxes from its New York-based customers over a period of seven years.
Sprint and Verizon Fined Total of $158M to Settle Cramming Charges
The FCC today said Sprint and Verizon Wireless have agreed to pay $158 million to settle charges that they fraudulently charged customers for third-party services — a tactic referred to as cramming. Specifically, Sprint will pay a total of $68 million, $50 million of which will go back to customers, $14 million of which will go to state governments, and $2 million of which will go to the federal government.
Sprint Agrees to Settle FTC Charges for $2.95M
Sprint will pay the Federal Trade Commission a fine of $2.95 million for failing to properly disclose extra monthly fees billed to customers with lower credit scores. Between November 2013 and June 2014, Sprint enrolled customers with inferior credit scores in the Account Spending Limit (ASL) program — and added a $7.99 monthly fee on top of their standard service charges.
Sprint to Relocate Cell Sites In Bid to Cut Costs
Sprint hopes moving its radio infrastructure away from privately held companies to government-owned land and/or structures will help shave $1 billion in costs, reports Re/code. Sprint leases cell tower access from Crown Castle and American Tower, and lease rates are a significant part of it operational costs.
Uncle Sam is after Sprint!
I wonder if stuff like this will also add on to the list of negatives of a Sprint/T-Mobile merger aside from the reduced competition in the market.
What do you guys think?
I can tell you first hand that when dealing with the government, state or federal, i...
What's a few dollars
A squeaky wheel gets the grease.