Verizon Settles for $93.5 Million Amid Fraudulent Billing Claims
Telecommunications giant Verizon Communications, Inc. paid the United States $93,525,410.96 amid allegations that subsidiary MCI Communications Services, Inc. fraudulently overcharged the General Services Administration (GSA) for voice and data telecommunications services contracts. The government alleges that MCI billed the GSA for various federal, state and local taxes and surcharges, violating the terms of their contract and regulations in connection with FTS2001 and FTS 2001 Bridge contracts. Additionally, Verizon, through MCI, was reimbursed for property taxes, common carrier recovery charges and other unallowable surcharges. Various Justice Department officials voiced hope that this would deter other government contractors from fraudulently billing the government for costs prohibited under their contracts. The whistleblower lawsuit was originally brought by Stephen M. Shea and 2Probe LLC in the District of Columbia.