A lawsuit in West Virginia aims to recoup monies paid by the federal government to Frontier Communications for broadband services that were not delivered. The Journal-News.net reports that Citynet has accused the carrier under the False Claims Act and alleges that $40.5 million in grant money was mishandled. Now, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey states the U.S. government owes money to West Virginia.
In previously awarded matters, West Virginia was made to repay the money to the federal government that the feds had paid to Frontier. The West Virginia legislature has already moved to free up $4.7 million in unclaimed property funds to redirect towards the reimbursement. The State Treasurer’s Office released the money following the passage of Senate Bill 1026, drafted specifically for this purpose.
Frontier Communications received the grant back in 2009 as part of President Obama’s stimulus package to encourage broadband development in West Virginia. The Citynet lawsuit contends that Frontier accepted the grant for certain broadband fiber cable purchases and installations, but actually used the money for other purposes.
“We must act now to assert our claim and protect West Virginia’s interest,” stated Morrisey in a written declaration. “It is only right that West Virginia be made whole and another entity bear the costs, if it is proven that entity engaged in fraud. Anything less would amount to the federal government receiving double payment for the same underlying costs.”
November 13, 2019