U.S. ex rel. Lyttle v. AT&T (IP Relay Service False Claims)
The federal government filed a False Claims Act complaint against AT&T for conduct related to its provision of Internet Protocol (IP) Relay services. IP Relay is a text-based communications service that allows hearing-impaired individuals to place telephone calls by typing messages over the Internet. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reimburses IP Relay providers such as AT&T at a rate of approximately $1.30 per minute. In an effort to reduce the abuse of IP Relay by foreign scam artists, the FCC in 2009 required providers to verify the accuracy of each registered user’s name and mailing address. The government alleged that AT&T failed to do this and thereby violated the False Claims Act by facilitating and seeking millions of dollars in federal payments for IP Relay calls by international callers who were ineligible for the service and sought to use it for fraudulent purposes. In May 2013, AT&T entered into a consent decree with the FCC and agreed to pay $18.25 million. In November 2013, AT&T paid an additional $3.5 million to resolve its remaining liability.
- Misconduct Type
- Government Contract Fraud
- Enforcement Agency
- Contracting Party
- Court Type
- Date of First Amended Complaint