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February 16, 2005
VIA CERTIFIED MAIL
RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED
Mr. Qasim Bokhari
(a/k/a Syed Qasim Ali Bokhari, a/k/a Kasim Bokhari)
c/o Michael J. Steinle, Esquire
Steinle Law Offices
2600 N Mayfair Rd- Suite 700
Milwaukee, WI 53226
Re: Notice of Suspension and of Proposed
File No. EB-04-IH-0388
Dear Mr. Qasim Bokhari:
The Federal Communications Commission (``FCC'' or
``Commission'') has received notice of your January 28, 2005
conviction for mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371
and 1341, and for money laundering in violation of the 18
U.S.C. § 1956(a) and (h).1 Consequently, pursuant to 47
C.F.R. § 54.521, this letter constitutes official notice of
your suspension from the schools and libraries universal
service support mechanism (``E-Rate program''). In addition,
the Enforcement Bureau (``Bureau'') hereby notifies you that
we are commencing debarment proceedings against you.2
I. Notice of Suspension
Pursuant to section 54.521(a)(4) of the Commission's
rules,3 Your conviction requires the Bureau to suspend you
from participating in any activities associated with or
related to the schools and libraries fund mechanism,
including the receipt of funds or discounted services through
the schools and libraries fund mechanism, or consulting with,
assisting, or advising applicants or service providers
regarding the schools and libraries support mechanism.4 Your
suspension becomes effective upon the earlier of your receipt
of this letter or publication of notice in the Federal
Suspension is immediate pending the Bureau's final
debarment determination. You may contest this suspension or
the scope of this suspension by filing arguments in
opposition to the suspension, with any relevant
documentation. Your request must be received within 30 days
after it receives this letter or after notice is published in
the Federal Register, whichever comes first.6 Such requests,
however, will not ordinarily be granted.7 The Bureau may
reverse or limit the scope of suspension only upon a finding
of extraordinary circumstances.8 Absent extraordinary
circumstances, the Bureau will decide any request for
reversal or modification of suspension within 90 days of its
receipt of such request.9
II. Notice of Proposed Debarment
II.A. Reasons for and Cause of Debarment
The Commission has established procedures to prevent
persons who have ``defrauded the government or engaged in
similar acts through activities associated with or related to
the schools and libraries support mechanism'' from receiving
the benefits associated with that program.10 As provided by
the October 22, 2004 plea agreement upon which your
conviction is based, you pled guilty to mail fraud and money
laundering offenses for activities in connection with your
participation, through your Virginia-based consulting
company, in the E-Rate program with certain schools in
Wisconsin and Illinois. In connection with the mail fraud
offenses, you admitted to conspiring and carrying out, with
other co-conspirators, the following acts: (1) illegally
inducing certain Wisconsin and Illinois schools to select
your consulting company as the schools' E-Rate service
provider by promising school officials that their school
would not have to pay their undiscounted share of the cost
under the E-Rate program; (2) taking over those schools' role
in completing and submitting E-Rate applications, and causing
those schools to enter into unnecessarily large contracts for
infrastructure enhancements under the E-Rate program; (3)
submitting materially false and fraudulent invoices and other
documents to the E-Rate program claiming that the schools
have been billed for their undiscounted share; (4) submitting
materially false and fraudulent invoices and other documents
to the E-Rate program claiming that certain work had been
performed and goods supplied to the schools; and (5)
receiving payment from the E-Rate program for goods and
services that you fraudulently claimed your consulting
company had provided to the schools.11 In connection with
the money laundering offenses, you admitted to conspiring and
carrying out, with other co-conspirators, an unlawful scheme
to transfer the fraudulently obtained E-Rate payments from
the United States to Pakistan through the unknowing services
of other individuals designed, in whole or in part, to
conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership,
and control of these monies.12 These actions constitute the
conduct or transactions upon which this debarment proceeding
is based.13 Moreover, your conviction on the basis of these
acts falls within the categories of causes for debarment
defined in section 54.521(c) of the Commission's rules.14
Therefore, pursuant to section 54.521(a)(4) of the
Commission's rules, your conviction requires the Bureau to
commence debarment proceedings against you.
II.B. Debarment Procedures
You may contest debarment or the scope of the proposed
debarment by filing arguments and any relevant documentation
within 30 calendar days of the earlier of the receipt of this
letter or of publication in the Federal Register.15 Absent
extraordinary circumstances, the Bureau will debar you.16
Within 90 days of receipt of any opposition to your
suspension and proposed debarment, the Bureau, in the absence
of extraordinary circumstances, will provide you with notice
of its decision to debar.17 If the Bureau decides to debar
you, its decision will become effective upon the earlier of
your receipt of a debarment notice or publication of the
decision in the Federal Register.18
II.C. Effect of Debarment
If and when your debarment becomes effective, you will
be prohibited from participating in activities associated
with or related to the schools and libraries support
mechanism for at least three years from the date of
debarment.19 The Bureau may, if necessary to protect the
public interest, extend the debarment period.20
Please direct any responses to the following address:
Federal Communications Commission
Investigations and Hearings Division
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
If you submit your response via hand-delivery or non-United
States Postal Service delivery (e.g., Federal Express, DHL,
etc.), please send the response to Ms. Lee at the following
Federal Communications Commission
9300 East Hampton Drive
Capitol Heights, MD 20743
If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Lee via mail,
by telephone at (202) 418-0843 or by e-mail at
William H. Davenport
cc: Carla Stern, Assistant United States Attorney, DOJ (E-
Kristy Carroll, Esq., USAC (E-mail)
1United States v. Bokhari et al, Case No. 04-CR-0056-RTR,
Plea Agreement (E.D.WI filed and entered October 22, 2004)
(``Qasim Bokhari Plea Agreement''); United States v. Qasim
Bokhari, Case No. 04-CR-0056-RTR, Judgment (E.D.WI filed
January 28, 2005 and entered February 3, 2005).
247 C.F.R. § 54.521; 47 C.F.R. § 0.111(a)(14) (delegating to
the Enforcement Bureau authority to resolve universal service
suspension and debarment proceedings pursuant to 47 C.F.R. §
347 C.F.R. § 54.521(a)(4). See Schools and Libraries
Universal Service Support Mechanism, Second Report and Order
and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 18 FCC Rcd 9202,
9225-9227, ¶¶ 67-74 (2003) (``Second Report and Order'').
4Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 9225, ¶ 67; 47 U.S.C.
§ 254; 47 C.F.R §§ 54.502-54.503; 47 C.F.R. § 54.521(a)(4).
5Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 9226, ¶ 69; 47 C.F.R.
6Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 9226, ¶ 70; 47 C.F.R.
7Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 9226, ¶ 70.
847 C.F.R. § 54.521(e)(5).
9See Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 9226, ¶ 70; 47
C.F.R. §§ 54.521(e)(5), 54.521(f).
10Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 9225, ¶ 66. The
Commission's debarment rules define a ``person'' as ``[a]ny
individual, group of individuals, corporation, partnership,
association, unit of government or legal entity, however,
organized.'' 47 C.F.R. § 54.521(a)(6).
11See Qasim Bokhari Plea Agreement at 1-5.
12See Qasim Bokhari Plea Agreement at 1, 6-9.
13Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 9226, ¶ 70; 47
C.F.R. § 54.521(e)(2)(i).
14``Causes for suspension and debarment are the conviction of
or civil judgment for attempt or commission of criminal
fraud, theft, embezzlement, forgery, bribery, falsification
or destruction of records, making false statements, receiving
stolen property, making false claims, obstruction of justice
and other fraud or criminal offense arising out of activities
associated with or related to the schools and libraries
support mechanism.'' 47 C.F.R. § 54.521(c). Such activities
``include the receipt of funds or discounted services through
the schools and libraries support mechanism, or consulting
with, assisting, or advising applicants or service providers
regarding schools and libraries support mechanism described
in this section ([47 C.F. R.] § 54.500 et seq.).'' 47 C.F.R.
15See Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 9226, ¶ 70; 47
C.F.R. §§ 54.521(e)(2(i), 54.521(e)(3).
16Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 9227, ¶ 74.
17See id., 18 FCC Rcd at 9226, ¶ 70; 47 C.F.R. §
18Id. The Commission may reverse a debarment, or may limit
the scope or period of debarment upon a finding of
extraordinary circumstances, following the filing of a
petition by you or an interested party or upon motion by the
Commission. 47 C.F.R. § 54.521(f).
19Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 9225, ¶ 67; 47
C.F.R. §§ 54.521(d), 54.521(g).