( NY Times)
Federal prosecutors have opened an investigation in the United States
and Canada into accusations that MCI, the nation's second-largest
long-distance carrier, defrauded other telephone companies of at least
hundreds of millions of dollars over nearly a decade, people involved
in the inquiry said.
The central element of MCI's scheme, people involved in the inquiry
said, consisted of disguising long-distance calls as local calls to
avoid paying special access tariffs to local carriers across the
country. Those tariffs are the largest single source of MCI's costs
for carrying calls and data transmissions.
In the case of SBC, Texas customers were complaining that the caller
identification function on their telephones was not working because it
showed a local call when, in fact, the call was long distance.
Investigators said they believed that the phones were not
malfunctioning, but that the caller identification reflected that the
phone codes had been altered to disguise the origin of the call.
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: When reading NY Times articles, users
of the Digest are invited to use our group login 'telecomdigest' and
our group password 'telecomdigest'. PAT]