Elizabeth Ann Pierce , The former CEO of Quintillion, a fiber optics cable company in Alaska has been sentenced to five years in prison for for defrauding investors in New York of more than $270 million.
Pierce was picked by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in April 2018, to lead the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC).
The committee was created to advise FCC commissioners on how to accelerate the deployment of high-speed internet access.
Pierce wooed investments firms claiming she had secured contracts for high-speed fiber optic systems that would generate millions of dollars in revenue.
In a statement Quintillion , said it became aware of her of the situation and self-reported to the Justice Department.
It was learnt that the contracts were forged and Pierce was still negotiating the deals with telecommunications companies.
When they fell through, her scheme was exposed to the company.
Apart from this she also defrauded two individuals out of $365,000. In exchange, they were promised ownership interests in Quintillion. They received neither shares in the company nor their money back.
“Elizabeth Ann Pierce, the then-CEO of Quintillion, placed her ambition above the law. In order to raise over $270 million to build a fiber optic cable system in northern Alaska, she repeatedly lied to her investors and forged the signatures of her customers’ executives on fake revenue contracts. When her scheme started to unravel, she tried to delay exposure with yet more lies and forged documents. She will now serve five years in prison for her crime,” according to a statement made by U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman.
The case was prosecuted by the Justice Department’s Complex Frauds and Cyber crime Unit.
She apologized and also blamed others in execution. Edgardo Ramos, the District Judge said her effort to blame others was no excuse for what she did.
The justice department said Pierce used the victims money “for her own personal benefit.”