FCC Imposes $50 Million Fine for Defrauding Universal Service Fund


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has issued a forfeiture order imposing a fine on Sandwich Isles Communications, Waimana Enterprises, and Albert S.N. Hee of $49,598,488 for violating the Universal Service Fund (USF) program rules that resulted in millions of dollars in improper payments. Sandwich Isles was a designated carrier receiving support to deploy networks serving consumers in Hawaii through the High-Cost program.  S.N. Hee used his control of Sandwich Isles, Waimana, and other affiliated companies to take corporate funds to pay for more than $ 4 million in personal expenses.  The fine was original proposed on December 5, 2016 when the Commission eliminated Sandwich Isles’ ability to receive additional support from the USF program for its apparent violations.  After a thorough review, the Commission has found no reason to withdraw or reduce such proposed fine.

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