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FCC Commish Pai: ‘Outraged’ No Fraud ‘Safeguards’ Exist in ObamaPhone Program

Monday in an interview with CBS4’s Brian Maass, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said he was “outraged” by reports there are no fraud “safeguards” for free cell phones meant for the needy.

Pai said, “The CBS4 story highlighted the fact that in places there are no safeguards. That workers for some of these companies are signing up people using fraudulent certifications.”

He added, “In the middle of Denver at a tent, this fraudulent activity was going on. If it can happen in Denver it can happen anywhere.”

Despite Pai playing video footage at a FCC meeting from the CBS4 Denver report that revealed blatant fraud in the Lifeline free cell phone government program, which is paid for with a monthly universal service tax on every cell phone, the commission voted along party line, 3-2 to expand the program to include broadband service.

The CBS4 investigation showed a CBS4 producer being encouraged by a vendor for the FCC program in Denver to use someone else’s benefits card in order to qualify for the free cell phone program meant for low income recipients.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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