I just read that the FCC says 41% of those getting free phones are not eligible to receive one. If you do the math, last year the taxpayers paid 2.2 billion dollars for free phones — so, 41 % of that 2.2 billion is $902 million and that is how much was overpaid (fraud/waste.)
If a free phone shows up at your house and you are not eligible to have a free phone — but you keep it, that is a crime. Keeping something that you know is not yours is stealing.
If you falsely fill out forms saying you are under the federal poverty line in order to be eligible to receive a free phone, that is a crime.
If you are eligible for a free phone in one year, but the following year you are no long eligible (you get a job that takes you above the poverty line) yet you KEEP that phone and use it, or apply for a new one, that is a crime.
Of course these crimes are not as serious as armed robbery or murder etc….but a few high profile prosecutions may discourage others from committing these crimes which have a real economic impact. And if you think 902 million is chump change, imagine what it could do for your local hospital or public school system.
Let me repeat: this posting is NOT about the federal program of giving phones to people in need who may need to call emergency services etc. This posting is about people who should NOT have free phones getting them and the federal government ignoring the waste and fraud and just extracting the money from you.