Investigators working for Scripps Media have interviewed a former employee for a provider of free phone service, sometimes known as Obamaphones, who admits to forging signatures on applications.
A two-part video report by Scripps was further confirmed by National Review Online in a story published Monday. In the following story, former TerraCom, Inc. employee Reggie Strode describes how he, and other TerraCom employees, would routinely sign forms on behalf of new customers. Strode earned $3 for each new sign-up while TerraCom earned $9 a month per individual:
Scripps also found evidence that TerraCom was signing up customers using abandoned homes as an address. You can see the second clip here at NRO.
Fraud has been an ongoing concern for the lifeline program. One survey found that 9 percent of those receiving phones were not eligible for the program, which is paid for by a special charge on cell phone bills. However a significant percentage of recipients choose not to respond to questions about their eligibility making it possible the actual abuse of the program is much greater.