Former CEO of Alaska Telecom Firm Accused of Fraud

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Elizabeth Ann Pierce, the former chief executive of an Alaska telecommunications company, has been arrested after federal prosecutors accused her of forging contracts to induce firms to make more than $250 million in investments. As CEO of Quintillion Networks LLC, Pierce allegedly convinced two investment companies that the firm had secured contracts for a high-speed fiber-optic system that would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in future revenue, the Manhattan US attorney’s office and FBI said. The system was pitched as one that would provide service in Alaska and connect it to the lower 48 states, authorities said. As it turned out, those sales agreements were worthless because the customers had not signed them,” US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said. “Instead, as alleged, Pierce had forged counterparty signatures on contract after contract. As a result of Pierce’s deception, the investment companies were left with a system that is worth far less than Pierce had led them to believe.”

Pierce was charged with wire fraud and surrendered in New York to FBI agents. She faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

In April 2017, Pierce was picked by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to chair the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) . Pierce resigned from Quintillion in August 2017 and she stepped down from her BDAC role in September. 

Former CEO of Alaska Telecom Firm Accused of Fraud Broadband advisor picked by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai arrested on fraud charges (Ars Technica)