Company faces $63M fine for misusing money to buy yacht, jet

By John Seewer - Associated Press

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Federal regulators are proposing a $63 million fine against an Ohio company that they say bought a yacht and jet with money meant to help low-income people get phone and internet service.

The Federal Communication Commission says Toledo-based American Broadband and Telecommunications Co. created fake accounts using the identities of dead people to get government reimbursements.

The commission says the company’s owner used the money to buy a Ferrari convertible, a Florida condominium and an $8 million Cessna jet.

The company says in a statement to The Blade newspaper that it told the FCC two years ago about significant compliance and reporting issues and repaid nearly all of the money.

The FCC has said in recent years that the Lifeline phone program needs reformed because of waste and fraud.

By John Seewer

Associated Press