Texas Businessman to Pay $400K for E-Rate Scam

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) - A Texas businessman who provided digital services to the Houston Independent School District will pay $400,000 to settle civil allegations of filing false claims.

The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday announced the settlement with Larry Lehmann of Giddings.

The federal E-Rate program subsidizes eligible equipment and services to make Internet access and internal networking more affordable for public schools and libraries. Houston ISD received E-rate subsidies from 2004 through 2006.

Lehmann was CEO of Acclaim Professional Services, which partnered with other companies to provide E-Rate-funded equipment and services.

Investigators say Lehmann violated competitive bidding requirements and HISD rules by providing gifts and loans to some district employees. The list includes tickets to sporting events and two loans totaling nearly $67,000 to an HISD worker who helped administer the projects.

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