On February 6, 2019, the Western District of Tennessee announced that Charles Jones, part owner of Technology Associates and Integrated Computer Solutions and Mark Whitaker were indicted on conspiracy to commit wire fraud tied to the E-rate program. Jones and Whitaker committed serious competitive bidding violations which is one of the basic tenants of the E-rate program. The DoJ and FCC OIG worked together on this investigation.
The FCC Inspector General stated that “….."Today’s charges allege that Mr. Jones and Mr. Whitaker knowingly and willfully violated the bedrock requirements of the FCC’s E-rate Program while hiding these violations from the Program’s administrator, all with the goal of enriching Mr. Jones with E-rate funds, thus depriving students of the benefits of this program – up-to-date telecommunications services…..We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to pursue those who seek to illegally take money from the FCC’s programs."
According to a Funds For Learning analysis, Technology Associates received $4.49 million in disbursements between 2003-2014 and Integrated Computer Solutions from 1998-2012 received $6.7 million in E-rate disbursements from USAC.
The U.S. DoJ Press Release can be viewed here