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E-Rate Fraud Affects Economically Disadvantaged Children

February 11, 2010

Benjamin Rowner and Jay H. Soled were sentenced to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay $271,716 in restitution for defrauding a federally-funded program intended to benefit the country’s poorest children, according to DoJ.  Administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), the E-Rate program provides computers and Internet services to economically disadvantaged schools and libraries.

The evidence at trial demonstrated that Rowner and Soled and co-conspirator, Leonard Douglas “Doug” LaDuron, “conspired to defraud the E-Rate program by submitting false and misleading statements and concealing material facts from the USAC, a non-profit corporation” in a cross-country scheme that defrauded 13 schools over a five-year period.

LaDuron previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy involving various companies that he owned — including Serious ISP Inc., Myco Technologies Inc. and Elephantine Corporation — and was sentenced to serve 57 months in jail and to pay $238,607 in restitution.

To report false claims regarding federally-funded programs, contact Frohsin & Barger.

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