AT&T to Pay $3.5 Million to Settle False Claims Act Case

Written November 9, 2013 by Robert Lu

On November 7, 2013, the Justice Department said in a statement that Dallas-based AT&T will pay $3.5 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act in connection with a program administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The settlement resolves a civil lawsuit in which the government alleged that AT&T knowingly overbilled the Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund, which compensates IP Relay service providers for placing calls on behalf of hearing- or speech-impaired individuals in the U.S.

The government’s investigation was initiated by a qui tam, or whistleblower, lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act in District Court in Pittsburgh. The whistleblower, Constance Lyttle, will receive $525,000 of the settlement under the False Claims Act, which permits private citizens to bring lawsuits on behalf of the government and to share in any recovery.

The case is Lyttle v. AT&T Communications of Pennsylvania, 10-cv-01376, U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh).