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Twenty-Six People Charged in $50 Million FCC Scam

Twenty-six people were charged today with engaging in a scheme to steal more than $50 million from the Federal Communications Commission's Video Relay Service (VRS) program.

Today's arrests were made by FBI agents and Postal Inspection Service inspectors in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Maryland, and were the result of a joint FBI, Postal, FCC-OIG investigation into a nationwide scheme to defraud the FCC's VRS program.

The indictments allege that twenty-six individuals engaged in a scheme to defraud the FCC by submitting false and fraudulent claims for VRS calls and causing the FCC to reimburse the defendants at a rate of approximately $390 per hour.

According to the indictments, VRS was an online video translation service that allowed people with hearing disabilities to communicate with hearing individuals through the use of interpreters and Web cameras.

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