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Media Contact: 
Mark Wigfield, (202) 418-0253
Will Wiquist, (202) 418-0509
For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, December 22, 2016 – The Federal Communications Commission today announced that 
Total Call Mobile will pay $30 million to resolve fraud investigations by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau 
and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York into allegations that the 
company enrolled tens of thousands of duplicate and ineligible consumers into the Lifeline program.  As a 
condition of the settlement, Total Call admits to engaging in “fraudulent practices” and will permanently 
lose its authorizations to participate in the Lifeline program anywhere in the country.
“We have no toleration for fraud,” said FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc. “This 
unprecedented $30 million settlement along with a permanent ban from the Lifeline program affirms our 
commitment to pursue the strongest sanctions for those who defraud or abuse the Universal Service 
program. We thank our partners at the Department of Justice for working with us to make sure that 
companies that commit fraud are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.” 
The $30 million settlement includes a repayment to the Universal Service Fund and a penalty paid to the 
U.S. Treasury.  In addition to the monetary payment, Total Call admits that it violated the Commission’s 
Lifeline program rules, and agrees to relinquish its FCC and state authorizations to participate in the 
Lifeline program.
As part of this settlement, Total Call admits that it engaged in wrongful conduct in connection with its 
participation in the Lifeline program.  Total Call admits that hundreds of its sales agents enrolled
duplicate and ineligible subscribers into the Lifeline program by using fake and repeated eligibility cards 
and false subscriber information. Total Call also admits that its managers failed to take corrective action 
when they received reports of these fraudulent activities and failed to put in place systems to prevent 
fraudulent conduct.  The company further admits that it failed to implement effective policies and 
procedures to ensure eligibility of Lifeline subscribers and monitor compliance, and that it failed to 
properly train its sales agents.  Total Call admits that it also requested and received funds from the 
Universal Service Fund for tens of thousands of consumers that did not meet the Lifeline eligibility 
requirements while it knew its policies and procedures to ensure compliance with Lifeline rules were 
deficient.  As a result of this and other conduct, the Enforcement Bureau found that Total Call violated 
numerous Commission rules, which Total Call also admits as part of the settlement.  
The Enforcement Bureau’s investigation was led by the Universal Service Fund Strike Force.  The 
investigation found that Total Call engaged in systematic and egregious misconduct that included 
enrolling duplicate and ineligible consumers in the Lifeline program through the misuse of eligibility 
documents such as temporary Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cards, including 
enrolling “phantom” consumers who were created by using the identity information of an individual 
without the individual’s consent.   
Earlier this year, the Commission adopted the 2016 Lifeline Reform rules, modernizing the Lifeline 
program. Among other reforms, the rules establish an independent National Eligibility Verifier to 
determine the eligibility of consumers enrolling in Lifeline in order to stop abuses of the type alleged in 
today’s proposed fine. This new national verifier puts an independent party in control of determining 
subscriber eligibility thereby removing that obligation from self-interested providers.
Lifeline provides discounted phone service to low-income consumers so that they have access to the 
communications tools necessary to connect with jobs, family, and emergency services.  Under the current 
Lifeline program rules, eligible telecommunications carriers receive $9.25 per month for each qualifying 
low-income consumer receiving phone service, including up to an additional $25 per month for eligible 
consumers residing on Tribal lands, and are required to pass a discount equal to the reimbursement along 
to the consumer.  Lifeline providers may seek reimbursement for providing service to a consumer only 
after confirming the consumer’s eligibility and that the consumer is not already receiving Lifeline service.  
The Lifeline program is funded through contributions assessed on telecommunication providers.  
A copy of today’s Consent Decree and Order is available at
Office of Media Relations: (202) 418-0500
TTY: (888) 835-5322
Twitter: @FCC
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action.  Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official 
action.  See MCI v. FCC, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).