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DOJ Moved to Dismiss $3.3B Fraud Suit Against Dish After Chairman Donated to Biden

Allegations are flying after the Justice Department intervened to send a $3.3 billion lawsuit against Dish Network into legal limbo.

The Justice Department’s action ended claims by Vermont Telephone that Dish and other companies wrongly manipulated Federal Communications Commission rules to obtain wireless communication licenses, according to the New York Post.

The March decision by the Justice Department came about three months after Dish founder and chair Charlie Ergen and his wife, Candy, donated more than $113,000 to President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign. The $113,200 in donations all were recorded on Dec. 15, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Bennett Ross, the lead attorney for the company, noted what he believed was a very suspect bit of coincidence, the Post reported.

In a letter to the Justice Department, Ross said contributions such as that make the dismissal of the lawsuit seem less than coincidental.

“We do not believe it is a coincidence that Mr. Ergen, his wife (who also is scheduled to be deposed next week), and DISH’s Political Action Committee collectively contributed in excess of $5 million to Democratic candidates and causes between 2008 and 2022,” he wrote.

“With the upcoming election, this case looks like just the latest example of the DOJ’s two-tiered justice system under which the well-heeled, politically connected are treated one way, while everyone else is treated differently,” he wrote.

Dish also received $50 million from the Biden administration to increase 5G coverage, with the money coming from the CHIPS and Science Act.

Ross said the intervention was very rare.

“As far as we are aware, relators have filed approximately 4,000 [similar] actions under the False Claims Act since 2018, and the DOJ moved for dismissal in approximately 65 of those cases, which is less than two percent,” Ross said, using the term used in the False Claims Act for a whistleblower bringing a lawsuit.

“And in those cases where the DOJ has sought dismissal, it generally was because the case suffered from a fatal defect, which is not the case with Vermont Telephone’s claims against Dish,” he said.

Jeff Blum, executive vice president of external and government affairs for Echostar, which acquired Dish Network in December, said that the “fraud claim has always been frivolous, and the DOJ was absolutely justified in moving to dismiss it.”

“It’s a matter of record that EchoStar and Charlie Ergen have supported both Republicans and Democrats for many years,” Blum said of donations made to politicians. “Because EchoStar has built the world’s largest Open RAN wireless network, we have worked closely with policymakers on both sides of the aisle to bring back US leadership to telco and provide a real alternative to the dominance of Chinese vendors.”

A report on Bloomberg Law noted that the False Claims Act allows the Justice Department to intervene because a claim is made in the name of the government, and therefore the government can decide to prosecute or not.

On March 6, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland seeking information about False Claims Act lawsuits in which the Biden administration has intervened to have the case deep-sixed.

Grassley wrote that “concerns have been raised that the Justice Department, after initially declining, will intervene and dismiss False Claims Act cases during the late stages of litigation after the relator has spent years and resources litigating the case.” In the language of the False Claims Act, “relator” is synonymous with a whistleblower.

“Denying relators the right to pursue False Claims Act cases if the government doesn’t initially intervene is counter to the basic, essential purpose of the Act, which is to empower private citizens to help the government fight and deter fraud,” he wrote.

READ 15 COMMENTS
  • Tacitus Kilgore says:

    The Biden crime family scores again. We gave to shut this illegal regime down.

  • Larry Bowling says:

    There is the whole story for a two tiered justice system. This is so sickening and it tells us that DIsh is a flaming liberal organization and I am cancelling my Dish plan this week. I advise all conservatives to use your wallets to send a message to dish, just as we did to send a message to Bud Light. Budweiser saw what happened to their revenue and have since corrected their mistakes and their revenue is in the process of getting better. Send that same message to Dish by cancelling their plan. We the people have a huge weapon – our wallets – and we need to use that weapon to show our government and large companies that we are the determining factor on whether they succeed or fail. This is not a threat to anyone, it is a statement of fact! We the people had better start waking up and using the power of our wallets and the power of our votes to send the right messages to government and big business!
    WAKE UP AMERICA!!!

  • John sweet says:

    Quid pro quo to the tune of millions or more for his betrayal of the People that he supposedly represents. Shameful and it sounds criminal who else received money from the government for 5G networking?

  • maga24 says:

    10% for the big guy, Crooked Joe

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