“Lot$a Money” and “Myname Yourname” Lead to $11.9M TRS Fine

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The FCC plans to bring down an $11.9 million hammer on Purple Communications, Inc. (Purple) after finding that the company improperly billed the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, which aims to provide support toward communications access for people with hearing and speech disabilities.  The FCC claims that the California-based Purple in 2010 and 2011 made millions of dollars’ worth of TRS Fund claims for over 40,000 registrants with “clearly false” names composed of random keystrokes, gibberish, and vulgarities (including “sdfsdf cicwcicw,” “ Myname Yourname,” “Lot$a Money” and “F*** Y**”).    Though the exact amount of money that Purple received in fraudulent TRS Fund claims has not been disclosed, the FCC stated that the proposed $11.9 million forfeiture is “directly linked to the magnitude of Purple’s economic gain and the harm it caused to the TRS Fund, and properly reflects the extent and gravity of the Company’s violations.”  This is not the first time Purple has run afoul of the FCC’s TRS rules.  In 2010, the company agreed to pay $22 million to the TRS fund to settle allegations that it artificially inflated TRS usage bills.

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