WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Communications Commission recently announced plans to fine Network Services Solutions and its chief executive officer $21,691,499 for alleged violations involving the Universal Service Fund Rural Health Care Program (RHC).


According to the FCC, the company violated competitive bidding rules, forged documents to fund the program and violated federal wire fraud statute. In addition to the fine, the FCC expects to order the company to refund $3.5 million in improper payments that it had received through the program.


“Forgery, bribery, bid rigging and fraud are absolutely unacceptable in any federal program,” said FCC’s enforcement bureau chief Travis LeBlanc. “Today the commission calls on Network Services Solutions and its CEO to account for any misuse of federal funds in this vital program that assists rural communities with access to critical services for health care.”


The Rural Health Care Program provides funding to eligible health care providers for telecommunications broadband services in an effort to improve health care quality for rural citizens.


This case marks the first FCC enforcement action involving the RHC program.

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