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AT&T Accused of Billing U.S. for Nigerian Fraud Calls

AT&T Inc. got more than $16 million from the U.S. government to offer a calling service for the deaf that the company knew was being used by Nigerian fraudsters to steal from American merchants, the Justice Department said.

The U.S., which intervened yesterday in a whistle-blower lawsuit in federal court in Pittsburgh, alleges AT&T allowed an Internet-based phone system to be overrun by criminals and then improperly billed the U.S. to reimburse the calls in violation of the False Claims Act.