A federal judge today closed a lawsuit filed by a woman who claimed that AT&T Corp. billed the government millions while allowing scam artists to target Americans. The case closed following the company’s agreement to pay $3.5 million.
The case was brought by Constance Lyttle, of Mercer, a former AT&T employee. She claimed she was fired because she sought to prevent international con artists from using a service for the hearing impaired.
Ms. Lyttle claimed that Nigerians and others were using the telecommunications relay service, which allows hearing-impaired people to type messages that are then read to call recipients by a communications assistant, to convince merchants to send products, individuals to disclose personal information, and bank employees to transfer funds.
The Department of Justice joined the case, claiming that AT&T collected Federal Communications Commission funds meant to support the service, even while it knew the service was being misused.
U.S. District Judge Judge Nora Barry Fischer closed the case, indicating in a docket note that it has settled.
An AT&T spokesman wrote in response to questions that the company paid $3.5 million even though it continues to deny the allegations.
The spokesman added that the allegations concern “an exceptionally small line of business that we no longer offer” and that a judge had dismissed much of the case against AT&T.
Ms. Lyttle received $525,000 of the settlement proceeds.
Lancaster attorney Rebecca Lyttle, who is Constance Lyttle’s sister and lawyer, was not immediately available for comment.
Rich Lord: email@example.com or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord.