Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) on Monday called for criminal charges to be filed against people who defrauded a federal phone subsidy program.
McCaskill sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, urging the agency to refer examples of fraud in its Lifeline program to the Justice Department for prosecution.
"Knowingly providing false information to a government agency for profit must be investigated. If these companies are found in violation of federal law, I expect the DOJ will prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law," she wrote.
"The FCC's failures in oversight and enforcement are unacceptable and inexplicable," she wrote. "The FCC must drastically improve its oversight of the Lifeline program, or face the likelihood that lawmakers like myself, whom are deeply troubled with both the structure and activities of the Lifeline program will be able to garner adequate support to terminate it."
Last year, the FCC toughened Lifeline's eligibility standards and created a database to track who is receiving service through the program.
Those reforms trimmed $200 million from the program last year and are on track to save $2 billion by the end of 2014, according to the FCC.In a speech earlier this month, acting FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said the idea of restricting Lifeline to landline phone service is "one of the most illogical things" she's heard since her appointment.
"Even suggesting this is taking a major step backwards and ignores the critical telecommunications of needy Americans and is out of step with the communications evolution," she said.
(Bolding by me)http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/324063-democrat-calls-for-criminal-charges-for-obamaphone-cheats
So! FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn doesn't care if a large number of the cheats have two and three phones each, costing billions of dollars? "We just can't take a step backwards and get out of step with communications evolution." Sheesh!