[pc world] The former owner of an Illinois technology firm has pleaded guilty to providing bribes and kickbacks to school districts in exchange for networking contracts that were part of a U.S. government program designed to bring Internet services to schools and libraries in poor areas.
Tyrone Pipkin, a former co-owner of Global Networking Technologies in Illinois, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana to participating in a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Federal Communication Commission's E-Rate program, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
Pipkin, acting on behalf of his own company and Computer Training Associates, told schools that if they chose one of the two companies for E-Rate contracts, their matching fees required by the FCC would be waived, according to court documents. Pipkin and a co-owner at Global Networking Technologies also offered bribes to school officials and employees if they circumvented the required competitive bidding process required in the E-Rate program in favor of one of the two companies, the court documents said.
Pipkin also submitted E-Rate applications to the FCC containing forged signatures of school employees, according to court documents.
Tech Firm Owner Pleads Guilty to E-Rate Conspiracy