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Former Tech Firm Owner Pleads Guilty to E-rate Fraud

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has reported that Tyrone Pipkin pleaded guilty to allegedly defrauding the E-rate program.

Pipkin, a former co-owner of Global Networking Technologies in Illinois pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on March 28, 2011 to conspiracy to defraud the E-rate program. Pipkin allegedly provided kick-backs and bribes to schools in Arkansas, Illinois and Louisiana in order to secure E-rate contracts. Pipkin also allegedly submitted E-Rate applications to the FCC with forged signatures of school employees.

The conspiracy charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The FCC along with the DOJ and FBI have a joint task force to work on E-rate related fraud cases and as of today, a total of seven companies and 22 individuals have pleaded guilty or have been convicted and found guilty or entered civil settlements with the Government.

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