A U.S. federal jury convicted the former owner and president of ATE Tel Solutions, a telecommunications and Internet service provider, on seven of nine counts of wire fraud in a scheme to defraud the E-Rate program, the U.S. Department of Justice said Friday.
Rafael G. Adame was convicted of submitting fraudulent invoices for payment to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s Universal Service Administrative Company. The E-Rate program provides subsidies to schools and libraries in poor, and often rural, areas of the United States so that they can afford Internet connectivity, computers and communications networks.
Adame submitted the fraudulent invoices via wire communications when his company provided Internet services to schools in Texas. The federal jury that convicted him is in McAllen, Texas.
He was found guilty of submitting fraudulent invoices via wire between December 2001 and May 2003, receiving US$106,500 in payments through the E-Rate program. Adame faces up to 20 years in prison for each count on which he was convicted and a $250,000 fine. He has not yet been sentenced.
— Nancy Weil, IDG News Service (Boston Bureau)
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