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Ajit Pai’s FCC broadband adviser nabbed in alleged $250M fraud plan – CNET

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Ajit Pai, chairman of the FCC, discussing Net Neutrality last year.


CNET/Mark Licea

An adviser chosen by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to participate in a broadband advisory group was arrested last week on charges of fraud.

Elizabeth Ann Pierce, former CEO of Alaska-based telecommunications company Quintillion Networks LLC, is accused of forging contracts to get investors to cough up more than $250 million. 

After being charged with wire fraud, she surrendered on April 12 in New York to FBI agents. She faces a prison sentence of up to 20 years. The arrest was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Pierce was chosen by Pai to lead his Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) in 2017. The mission of the group is to provide advice and make recommendations on how to accelerate the deployment of broadband by reducing and removing regulatory barriers. According to the broadband news site Stop the Cap, she may have attracted Pai’s attention by complaining about the permitting process required to bring broadband to rural Alaska.

The FCC did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

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