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Six companies indicted for defrauding school Internet programs

[JURIST] Six major electronics companies have been indicted for allegedly defrauding the federal E-Rate program, a $2.25 billion per-year project that assists underfunded schools and libraries in accessing the Internet. While some companies are accused of overcharging equipment and submitting false accounting statements, others are accused of bid rigging and billing the government for items never received. The Federal Communications Commission, which approved the program, commented that E-Rate's poor design makes it vulnerable to defraudment by equipment supplies. The indictment includes: Howe Electric Inc., Sema4 Inc., Digital Connect Communications, Expedition Networks Ltd., ADJ Consultants Inc., Video Network Communications Inc., and several other individuals. Attorneys for these firms has stated that their clients did not intend to defraud the government and that some of the firms will attempt to settle. AP has more.

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