Undercover Filmmaker Uncovers Further Abuse of Lifeline Program
Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:11 PM EDT
Evidence of further abuse and mismanagement of the free cell phone program Lifeline has been captured by an undercover filmmaker.
Filmmaker activist James O’Keefe filmed undercover investigators with a hidden camera as they searched for free cell phones. Captured on tape were contract employees who urged an undercover investigator to sell their phones and take them to pawn shops.
The program’s escalating price tag has swelled from $800 million in 2008 to $2.2 billion in 2012, all funded by a charge on your cell phone bill. New evidence shows that despite promises of reform from Congress, the abuse may be getting worse.
On Tuesday Louisiana Senator David Vitter introduced legislation to end the Lifeline program. Arkansas lawmaker Tim Griffin introduced legislation last year that would cut free cell phones completely.
The FCC has been trying to crack down on abuse by assembling a database of everyone in the program. It should be up and running by 2014.