A broadband advisor selected by Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, to head a federal advisory committee was arrested last week for claims tricked investors into investing money in a multimillion-dollar fraud, according to ] The Wall Street Magazine .
The consultant, Elizabeth Pierce, is the former CEO of Quijntillion, an Alaskan-based fiber optic cable provider operating from Anchorage. In his capacity as CEO, Pierce alleged that he raised more than $ 250 million from two investment companies based in New York, using counterfeit contracts with other companies that guarantee hundreds of millions of dollars in future revenue. Pierce quit Quintillion in August of last year, and she resigned her role on the Pai Broadband Implementation Advisory Committee (BDAC) the following month.
"It turned out that those sales agreements were worthless because the clients had not signed them," said federal prosecutor Geoffrey Berman in prepared comments, as reported. by WSJ . "Instead, as alleged, Pierce had forged counterparty signatures in one contract after another.As a result of Pierce's deception, the investment companies were left with a system that is worth far less than Pierce had led them to believe." Pierce was trying to raise money to help build a fiber optic system that would connect Alaska with high speed internet and better help to connect it to networks in other US states. UU Pierce was charged with electronic fraud last Thursday and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Pai was elected by Pai in April of last year to be the president of the BDAC, which he formed "to accelerate the deployment of high-speed Internet access, or broadband, by reducing and eliminating regulatory barriers to investment." in infrastructure. " According to the broadband industry news and advocacy website Stop the Cap Pierce may have entered Pai's radar complaining about how cumbersome it was to bring Internet access to parts of the country as Alaska.
In a statement issued last week, Quintillion says it began cooperating with the Department of Justice as soon as complaints surfaced against Pierce last year. "Quintillion learned of the situation regarding Ms. Pierce's alleged actions last year, took quick action and self-reported to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Quintillion has been cooperating fully with the authorities during this investigation into course, "reads the company's press release on the charges. The company goes on to say that "the ongoing investigation has not affected Quintillion's operations or the quality of its services," and that "it continues to aggressively move to extend its network and provide world-class telecommunications to Alaska and beyond."