(11/11/2019)
State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is hoping to get back $4.9 million it had to pay back to the government for how it handled federal stimulus funds related to bringing broadband to WV.

Morrisey announced Friday that his office has filed a motion to intervene in federal court in the fraud case CityNet filed against Frontier Communications in 2018 for allegedly misusing $40 million stimulus funds to expand broadband.

That lawsuit alleges Frontier violated the False Claims Act.

After an audit, the federal government required the state, which was the recipient of the grant, to pay back nearly $5 million for “unallowable reimbursements.”

Morrisey said he’s taking no position in the case between Frontier and CityNet but being allowed to intervene could put the state in the position to recoup the money if “federal court were to find that Frontier’s conduct violated the False Claims Act.”

The state received $126.3 million in a 2010 federal stimulus grant to expand broadband and it partnered mainly with Frontier Communications to do so. A federal audit determined not all of the money reimbursed were for items covered by the grant.

WV Senate President Mitch Carmichael was then a vice president for Frontier.

Frontier stock rose to $160/share almost 5 years.

Last Friday, it was trading at $.80/share and hasn't paid any dividends since December, 2017. The projected one-year future stock price may be $.77/share, if they haven't been de-listed.


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