U.S. Sen. David Vitter, Chairman of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, today sent a letter to Mr. F.J. Pollak, CEO of TracFone, as part of his long-term investigation into the fraud and abuse of the free government cell phone program known as Lifeline. Vitter also sent a letter to General Wesley Clark who has been publicly promoting the Lifeline program without disclosing who is funding his publicity campaign. Support for the Lifeline program comes from extra payments that millions of Americans, including small business owners, are charged every month.
“The alarming number of fraud and abuse cases within Lifeline makes it clear that this program is past the point of no return. Reform is not a feasible solution, and neither is pouring more money into it, “said Vitter. “It is unacceptable for a government program to have such a high rate of fraud, and I will continue to investigate the monetary and political influences that are driving Lifeline forward until we can eliminate free government cell phones.”
Vitter has introduced S. 56, the Ending Mobile Phone Welfare Act of 2015, which would eliminate the cell phone portion of the Lifeline program.
In today’s letter to Pollak, Vitter requests information relating to monetary transactions between TracFone and Pre-Paid Wireless Users of America, which ran controversial advertisements to promote Lifeline. Vitter has been investigating the fraud and abuse of the taxpayer-funded Lifeline program in recent years. TracFone, which is the largest recipient of funding from the Lifeline program, has attempted to obscure facts about the fraud-ridden program. Click here to read more.
In today’s letter to Gen. Clark, Vitter follows up on a previous letter, requesting information related to the funding for Gen. Clark’s visit to Louisiana in November 2014. Vitter has engaged in communication with Gen. Clark over who is funding his campaign to support Lifeline. Click here to read more.