Sprint to pay $15.5 million to settle wiretap overcharging case

Sprint agrees to pay the government $15.5 million to settle allegations the company overcharged for wiretaps

Sprint on Thursday agreed to pay federal government $15.5 million to resolve allegations that it overcharged for carrying out court-ordered wiretaps, according to the Justice Department.

The telecommunications company did not admit any wrongdoing concerning the accusations that it hid charges for certain upgrades to its system in the government’s wiretap service bills from 2007 to 2010, according to a news release from the Justice Department's Northern California district.

Telecommunications carriers are allowed to bill law enforcement agencies for reasonable expenses incurred for the wiretap service, but those expenses cannot include costs to “upgrade their equipment, facilities, or services to ensure they were capable of enabling the government, pursuant to a court order, to intercept and deliver communications and call-identifying information,” according to the news release.

The Federal Communications Commission prohibited carriers from passing along those upgrades in 2006.

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