The state of Indiana and a public-private agency will repay the United States nearly $8.3 million to settle federal civil charges of making false statements in connection with the federal E-rate program, which supports telecommunications services for schools and libraries, federal officials said June 27.
The U.S. Department of Justice contended that the Intelenet Commission—a state-controlled entity that provided Internet services statewide—and the state gave false information to the E-rate program, which is overseen by the Federal Communications Commission.
Federal law-enforcement officials alleged that the commission improperly charged inflated prices to the E-rate program for services for Indiana schools and libraries, falsified invoices, disregarded the requirement that the schools and libraries pay their shares of the cost of services they received, and engaged in noncompetitive bidding practices.
Indiana has shifted the running of its high-speed Internet service to other state agencies.
A version of this article appeared in the July 12, 2006 edition of Education Week