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Former FCC Broadband Panel Chair Arrested For Fraud (dslreports.com) 106

An anonymous reader quotes a report from DSLReports: The former chair of a panel built by FCC boss Ajit Pai to advise the agency on broadband matters has been arrested for fraud. Elizabeth Ann Pierce, former CEO of Quintillion Networks, was appointed by Pai last April to chair the committee, but her tenure only lasted until September. Pierce resigned from her role as Quintillion CEO last August after investigators found she was engaged in a scam that tricked investors into pouring money into a multi-million dollar investment fraud scheme. According to the Wall Street Journal, Pierce convinced two investment firms that the company had secured contracts for a high-speed fiber-optic system that would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in future revenue. She pitched the system as a way to improve Alaska's connectivity to the rest of the country, but the plan was largely a fabrication, law enforcement officials say. "As it turned out, those sales agreements were worthless because the customers had not signed them," U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in prepared remarks. "Instead, as alleged, Pierce had forged counterparty signatures on contract after contract. As a result of Pierce's deception, the investment companies were left with a system that is worth far less than Pierce had led them to believe." Quintillion says it began cooperating with lawmakers as soon as allegations against Pierce surfaced last year. Pierce was charged with wire fraud last Thursday and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
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Former FCC Broadband Panel Chair Arrested For Fraud

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  • Like Madoff... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mal-2 ( 675116 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2018 @09:29PM (#56455905) Homepage Journal

    Like Madoff, the crime isn't that she stole a bunch of money. It's that she stole a bunch of money from rich people. This pierces the "one rule for me, and another for thee" veil.

    • Mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2018 @10:28PM (#56456059)
      it's just coincidence that she's related to somebody /. hates. And I'm sure she was promptly replaced by somebody just as bad. I keep saying this, but if people want this to stop you need to get out there and vote these bums out.
      • Re:Mod parent up (Score:4, Insightful)

        by youngone ( 975102 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2018 @11:03PM (#56456149)

        ...get out there and vote these bums out....

        Ha ha! As if that will make any difference. It's America, you just vote in some other bums.

        • Re:Mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Jeremi ( 14640 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2018 @12:14AM (#56456297) Homepage

          Ha ha! As if that will make any difference. It's America, you just vote in some other bums.

          All bums are not created equal. The trick is for voters to accurately evaluate the bumminess of each bum, and choose the less-bummy bum in each election. That way, in the best-case scenario, we slowly work our way up the bum-gradient, and even in the worst-case scenario, while things don't improve, they don't degrade either.

          Saying it won't make any difference only discourages voters from evaluating the candidates carefully, which increases the chances of them accidentally choosing the bummier bum, and thereby making things worse than they were before.

          • by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2018 @12:56AM (#56456399)

            Actually, I beg to differ.

            The current Bozo and friends are, as expected, foolishly blatant and open about what they are doing.
            This comes from a lack of political experience, and is actually rather refreshing.
            The other mod were almost the definition of pure slick politics - where everything was hidden.
            They only mad a few slip ups that got leaked out and tipped the balance, but they were certainly adept at playing kiss the baby while selling out your freedom.

            Having a loudmouth idiot in charge can have benifits, and I would suggest is making the whole system less corrupt, not more, as it is at least being exposed and made obvious.

            • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2018 @04:29AM (#56456823) Homepage

              Actually it is a solid indication of the extreme problem, corruption in US politics is causing. It is so bad and rampant, it is spreading through out the entire system. It is infecting US government at every level, Federal, State, Local and in every Agency. They are seeing the corruption at the top and emulating it. Seriously wire fraud from the agency that is meant to fight wire fraud (the distribution of the data and the management of the scam), a top level political appointee. Alarm bells should be ringing, you have serious, deep and pervasive corruption going on, you desperately need to crack down on it hard, otherwise it will destroy the country and it has already caused an enormousness amount of damage to the economy, to the society as a whole, to infrastructure, to global presence, to all government agencies and even to education of the generation. The continued failure to 'properly' investigate, prosecute, convict and penalise, in glaringly public incidents, is destroying your country. Corruption is becoming a mass problem and spreading, failure to carry out high level prosecutions ie 'See no one is above the law and everyone gets caught', is accelerating that growth of corruption, you have hit second world government levels of corruption, it looks like you a going on to third world level government, where bribes are expect to be paid for everything. You should be freaking the fuck out.

              • by Undead Waffle ( 1447615 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2018 @06:06AM (#56456961)

                You seem to think this is a new thing. This problem is the basis of the "small government" philosophy. Corrupt people will seek power, so the best protection is to limit the available power and localize it as much as possible to minimize the damage. Ideally corruption would be punished but it rarely is anywhere.

                • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

                  Wrong, absolutely wrong. The only answer is massive government, gigantic government, include every single citizen government. To maintain that level of interaction between all citizens and government, does require massive resources. Why should that money be spent, to ensure you are heard, not just a one off vote but your opinion and your voice and that does mean individually and collectively as well. How big should government be exactly as big as the society it governs. How overbearing is that governing, no

                  • This should be required reading for this debate:

                    https://medium.com/civic-tech-... [medium.com]

                    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

                      Both you and the article kind of miss the bit where psychopathic crooks are plotting and scheming every waking hour, when not abusing people, to prevent reform of government. Main stream media and the establishment have worked extremely hard at keeping the population involved in politics, ridiculing that involvement, telling people they have no power, telling people they should not discuss politics because it causes arguments, telling people to live it to the wisest, you know pseudo celebrities being paid b

                    • Oh trust me, I didn't miss that bit. You really don't understand your own argument do you? In the world you just described, it would be trivial for those in power to control the people administering the "test", thus changing nothing while adding a veneer of legitimacy to those in control. Plus, a test for psychopathy isn't exactly like a math test... there's no black and white right and wrong answers, just opinions and spectrums, so any "result" will always be debated. Any law that requires you to pass

                    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

                      Every obstacle put in place is a choke point on corruption, sure they can try to cheat and inevitably they will get caught. You need to get the bullshit idea out of your head that politicians are special, they are just your typical crap head used car salesman, that often by family connection decide to become politicians rather than used car salesman. This was more accepted early in last century but endless purposeful deceit by main stream media to denigrate the capability of the general population and hugel

                • You have made several MAJOR errors in thought.

                  Yes there are evil people in the world. But the good people outnumber them. The problem is getting the good people to take the thankless, low paying government jobs. For every corrupt person, there are 100 honest ones. But for every 20 corrupt people, there is only one or two honest, competent people willing take a low paying government job.

                  Which means if you leave the power in local hands, you have one honest man surrounded by twenty of corrupt people.

                  But

                • Of course, the problem with that is that power abhors a vacuum. Might Makes Right is the fundamental law of nature, so if you reduce the power of government, you end up with warlords (or their economic equivalent). And distributing governmental power doesn't do squat to curb corruption - it just localizes the corruption, and makes it cheaper to achieve.

                  There's no way around the fact that dealing with corruption is difficult. It requires one to be a better version of oneself, and to demand others to be b
                • by rsborg ( 111459 )

                  You seem to think this is a new thing.

                  Eternal vigilance, buddy [1] It wasn't a joke. Corruption is a natural state of lack of oversight, transparency and public engagement. Saying "suck it up, it's going to happen" is a sure way to propagate the corruption. The better solution is to hunt them down and make them pay. I refuse to give up.

                  The solution to a democracy that isn't working as well is "more democracy".

                  [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

              • Actually it is a solid indication of the extreme problem, corruption in US politics is causing. It is so bad and rampant, it is spreading through out the entire system. It is infecting US government at every level, Federal, State, Local and in every Agency. They are seeing the corruption at the top and emulating it....

                Term limits can take a lot of blame for this. Go from board member to congressman back to board member after being term limited. Even when it's not that blatant, a term limited politician has no reason to work for the people that elected him & all the more reason to work towards their next position.

                Many are pushing term limits at the federal level. What we would get is even more corruption & a bunch of amateurs that have no clue how to govern (even worse that we have now).

                • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

                  Term limits can take a lot of blame for this.

                  I originally wanted term-limits, then realized there's a better way - non-consecutive terms. You cannot run for re-election. Politics, especially congress, was never intended to be a career.

          • Sorry, but no. If the choice is to get shot or get hung, the correct choice is to shoot the executioner.

            False dichotomies are never solved by choosing either wrong choice.

          • by Shotgun ( 30919 )

            Yes, we have to make sure the wrong lizard doesn't win.

        • your primary vote is incredibly powerful since so few people show up to it. If you show up at your primaries you can do away with crap like the "Sheldon" primary (google it).
          • I'm not American, so probably shouldn't vote in anyone's primaries.
            To be fair, the real problem you have is that you will wind up with the choice of a Democrat or a Republican. That is exactly the way the people really running the joint want it.
        • Due to the nature of voting in the U.S., there are always just two political parties that elect candidates to office in any great number, except during times of transition. Those transitions occur when neither of the two dominant parties will address an issue that a large fraction of the voters think is important.

          That's how the Republicans came from essentially nowhere in the early 1850s to electing a president in 1860 and replacing the Whigs. (Having 11 states withdraw from U.S. politics for 4 years and

      • it's just coincidence that she's related to somebody /. hates.

        How's the new swamp drainage system looking? I expect they'll open the sluices any day now, right?

        Right?

      • As long as you have a bi-party system where winner tajes all, that will not happen.

      • Right, let's vote Kodos next time, that's gonna change it all!

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Don't blame me I voted for Kang.

      • I agree with you, and usually vote against the encumbent, but it doesn't seem to be making things better. :/
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is how telecom is done, eh?

    • My thoughts too, it's exactly the sort of person you'd expect to find among Ajit Pai's cronies.
    • by rsborg ( 111459 )

      This is how corruption is done. They are only sad because they got caught.

      In fact, this administration's only rule seems to be "don't get caught".

  • It's time to find out what Ajit knew and when he knew it. I wonder if he is nervous.. Did Ajit know about these contracts? We he a reference for investors? Was he a willing party to the fraud? Was the connection to the FCC leveraged in the fraud? So many questions and inquiring minds want to know.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, 2018 @11:06PM (#56456159)

    I don't think Trump meant to drain the swamp by having everyone associated with him and his appointees arrested and thrown into prison, but it's starting to do the job.

  • 250 Million bucks worth!. That's a lot of fraud going on. She must be quite some woman that she could find time to advise Pai on how best to rip off the American public as well. Maybe that's why she stepped down. Ain't nobody got time for all that.
  • The entire Trump maladministration is criminals all the way down. Not a one of them that isn't feathering their own nest at the expense of the nation.
    • Let's see, in Obama's admin, we had Susan Rice lying to teh American public saying that Bengazhi was caused by a spontaneous outburst because of an American Youtube Video. We also had a lying AG who presided over smuggling thousands of guns to Mexico, many of which killed Mexican and US citizens. Now, let's talk about Mrs Clinton, whose foundation collected boatloads of money for Haiti relief, most of which was not used there and was "donated to charity" aka the Clinton Foundation. Oh yes, then there's th

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