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Government sues Sprint, says carrier overcharged them to bug phones

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Government sues Sprint, says carrier overcharged them to bug phones
The Justice Department is suing Sprint, claiming that the carrier overcharged the U.S. government by $21 million to bug phones. Carriers that are ordered by the U.S. government to tap customers' phones are entitled to be reimbursed for the costs of doing so. But the government says that Sprint secretly included the expense of financing equipment upgrades from January 2007 to July 2010.

The suit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco and revolves around conventional wiretaps that require judicial approval. The 1995 law that allows carriers to be reimbursed for their costs to bug phones, covers pre-1995 equipment. In 2006, the FCC ruled that operators could not charge the government for post-1995 equipment upgrades. The government seeks the return of the money that they claim Sprint overcharged them, along with financial penalties.

"As alleged, Sprint overbilled law enforcement agencies for carrying out court-ordered intercepts, causing a significant loss to the government's limited resources."-Melinda Haag, U.S. Attorney

Despite the FCC ruling, Sprint charged the government for upgrades to its equipment up through 2010, when the company changed its rules on billing. For its part, the nation's third largest carrier refutes the legal charges and says that its invoices fully comply with the law. The agencies that claim to have overpaid Sprint include the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshal's Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and the Secret Service. The DEA claims that Sprint owes it the most money out of all of the government agencies listed.

source: SFGate via SprintUsers

21 Comments
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posted on 03 Mar 2014, 23:02 6

1. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8843; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Sprint just went from bad to worse. How are they still in business?

posted on 03 Mar 2014, 23:13 4

3. Kishin (Posts: 635; Member since: 30 May 2013)


Without Gov't support there going to disappear, now they have even less chance with T-mobile purchase cause the Gov't has to approve and i dont think they will after this..

posted on 03 Mar 2014, 23:32 3

9. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8843; Member since: 14 May 2012)


They're*

I'd like to merger to go through so T-Mobile has access to more towers and money just as long as Legere is running the show. Heese is a joke of a CEO.

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 04:09 3

12. DigitalJedi_X2 (banned) (Posts: 346; Member since: 30 Jan 2012)


The*

Not too sure I want this merger to go through. Don't want Sprints stink on T-Mobile.

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 06:16 1

13. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8843; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I've been corrected... Let me log off now. Way to go Jedii.

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 06:31 3

14. youlookfoolish (Posts: 128; Member since: 14 Dec 2012)


Jedi*

Here's hoping Legere is out of the media spotlight soon. Fanboys like you thumping their chest while T-Mobile loses $20 million in the 4th quarter of 2013 while actually adding millions of customers shows you don't understand he's nothing more than a loudmouth making his unprofitable business even more unattractive to it's foreign parent company.

FYI you make as many spelling and grammar errors as the people you correct Smurf. You're not that clever. Just remember, the loudest fanboys are open to looking the most foolish.

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 06:37 2

15. Commentator (Posts: 2469; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Its* foreign parent company.

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 06:39 2

16. Commentator (Posts: 2469; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Hesse*

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 09:20

19. lsutigers (Posts: 762; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)


Here we go again. Mr. TMO evangelist and Sprint basher. You can't exactly trust our gov't with numbers either.

posted on 03 Mar 2014, 23:04 2

2. HASHTAG (Posts: 179; Member since: 31 Jan 2014)


@PapaSmurf, likely from overcharging the US government. :p

posted on 03 Mar 2014, 23:25

6. hurrycanger (Posts: 1261; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)


What phone did you use to type this comment? Just curious. :D
(Nothing's wrong with your comment, so don't look for it xD. I'm just curious, seriously.)

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 08:32

18. HASHTAG (Posts: 179; Member since: 31 Jan 2014)


The Nokia Lumia 1520

posted on 03 Mar 2014, 23:26

8. Scott93274 (Posts: 1311; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


Fool! That means we're paying for it! lol, I do have to laugh at this situation though.

posted on 03 Mar 2014, 23:14

4. pookiewood (Posts: 623; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)


Poor Sprint to bad they aren't "too big to fail" like some other spoiled companies.

posted on 03 Mar 2014, 23:17

5. TechBlue (Posts: 62; Member since: 06 May 2010)


Sprint..you are toast now

posted on 03 Mar 2014, 23:26

7. hurrycanger (Posts: 1261; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)


The government, don't mess with. xD

posted on 03 Mar 2014, 23:38

10. mayur007 (Posts: 460; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)


PA - overcharged NOT overchagred

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 06:39 3

17. pookiewood (Posts: 623; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)


Congrats you found s typo. Now if only you could help me find my misplaced keys.

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 00:49 1

11. o0Exia0o (Posts: 428; Member since: 01 Feb 2013)


And this is how it happens. First the government uses the carriers to spy on us then they turn on the carriers and put them out of business.... Not that I did not see this coming. First the government uses the carriers to spy on us then they turn on the other carriers, the carriers will refuse to “repay” the Government, and the Government will seize all of the carriers assets. Then we will have USA Cell Service Company run by the Government and there is no need for the secret court for the Government to spy on us.

AND YES I HAVE MY TINFOIL HAT ON THANK YOU!!!!

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 10:26

20. PBXtech (Posts: 981; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


"As alleged, Sprint overbilled law enforcement agencies for carrying out court-ordered intercepts, causing a significant loss to the government's limited resources."-Melinda Haag, U.S. Attorney

WHAT?

Since 9-11, data collection has become a multi-billion dollar industry thanks to the Patriot Act. Saying they have limited resources is ridiculous.

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 13:21

21. ePoch270 (Posts: 105; Member since: 26 Sep 2013)


It sounds like these were Domestic Law Enforcement cases, not 9-11 related terrorism cases, otherwise, they wouldn't have needed the wiretap to begin with.

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