Former BDAC Chair Sentenced to Prison for Defrauding Fiber Investors

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UPDATE The first head of the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Group was sentenced to five years in prison last week after pleading guilty to defrauding investors in a fiber optic cable system. The Department of Justice said Elizabeth Ann Pierce, ex-CEO of Alaskan telecom company Quintillion, defrauded investors of more than $270 million to build the fiber system in northern Alaska.

Pierce “placed her ambition above the law,” stated U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman, noting she, “repeatedly lied to her investors and forged the signatures of her customers’ executives on fake revenue contracts. 

When her scheme started to unravel, she tried to delay exposure with yet more lies and forged documents.”

In addition to her term of imprisonment, Pierce, age 55, was sentenced to three years of supervised release, and was ordered to forfeit $896,698 and all of her interests in Quintillion and a property in Texas. Pierce will also be subject to a restitution order to her victims to be entered at a later date, according to the DOJ.

Pierce was named head of the FCC’s new BDAC in April 2017. She left Quintillion that July and resigned from the BDAC. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai later named Elizabeth Bowles, president of the Arkansas-based internet provider Aristotle, as BDAC chair. The BDAC was re-chartered and met June 13, Inside Towers reported.

June 26, 2019

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