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Gloria F. Harper, Notice of Suspension, E-Rate Program

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Released: March 22, 2012
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, DC 20554
Enforcement Bureau
Investigations and Hearings
Division
March 22, 2012

DA 12-452

SENT VIA CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED
AND EMAIL

Ms. Gloria F. Harper
c/o Ms. Cynthia Marie Cimino
Federal Public Defender
Hale Boggs Federal Building
500 Poydras St., Room 318
New Orleans, LA 70130

Re:

Notice of Suspension and Initiation of Debarment Proceeding
File No. EB-12-IH-0400
Dear Ms. Harper:
The Federal Communications Commission (Commission or FCC) has received notice
of your guilty plea for conspiracy to defraud the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C § 371
in connection with your participation in the federal schools and libraries universal service
support mechanism (E-Rate program).1 Consequently, pursuant to 47 C.F.R. § 54.8, this
letter constitutes official notice of your suspension from the E-Rate program.2 In addition,
the Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) hereby notifies you that the Bureau will commence
debarment proceedings against you.3


1 Any further reference in this letter to “your conviction” refers to your guilty plea and subsequent sentencing
for conspiracy to defraud the United States in United States v. Gloria F. Harper, Criminal Docket No. 2:10-cr-
00326-CJB-ALC, Plea Agreement (E.D. La. filed June 2, 2011 and entered June 6, 2011) (Plea Agreement).
2 47 C.F.R. § 54.8.
3 Id. § 0.111 (delegating to the Enforcement Bureau authority to resolve universal service suspension and
debarment proceedings). The Commission adopted debarment rules for the E-Rate program in 2003. See
Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism
, Second Report and Order and Further Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking, 18 FCC Rcd 9202 (2003) (Second Report and Order) (adopting Section 54.521 to
suspend and debar parties from the E-Rate program). In 2007 the Commission extended the debarment rules to
apply to all federal universal service support mechanisms. Comprehensive Review of the Universal Service
Fund Management, Administration, and Oversight; Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service; Schools
and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism; Rural Health Care Support Mechanism; Lifeline and Link
Up; Changes to the Board of Directors for the National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc.
, Report and Order,
22 FCC Rcd 16372, App. C at 16410-12 (2007) (Program Management Order) (renumbering Section 54.521 of
the universal service debarment rules as Section 54.8 and amending subsections (a)(1), (a)(5), (c), (d), (e)(2)(i),
(e)(3), (e)(4), and (g)).

Ms. Gloria F. Harper
March 22, 2012
Page 2

I.

Notice of Suspension

The Commission has established procedures to prevent persons who have “defrauded
the government or engaged in similar acts through activities associated with or related to the
[E-Rate program]” from receiving the benefits associated with that program.4 Schools may
receive E-Rate program funding for eligible goods and services by filing application forms,
seeking competitive bids, and selecting the most cost-effective vendor.5 The E-Rate program
rules require school applicants to pay a percentage of the total cost of eligible goods and
services requested for funding.6 The E-Rate program rules prohibit an E-Rate vendor or
anyone associated with an E-Rate vendor from participating in the application process or
vendor selection.7
On June 6, 2011, you pled guilty to knowingly and willfully orchestrating multiple
fraudulent schemes and conspiring with others to defraud the E-Rate program through the
submission of materially false and fraudulent documents, concealment of material facts, and
obstruction and manipulation of the competitive bidding process involving schools and
school districts located in six states.8 You participated in the conspiracy as the owner of
Computer Training and Associates (CTA) and co-owner of Global Networking
Technologies, Inc. (GNT).9 Specifically, from approximately December 2001 through
September 2005, you and a co-conspirator violated E-Rate program rules by completing,
submitting, and fraudulently signing E-Rate program applications (FCC Forms 470, 471, and
486) on behalf of school applicants.10 You also conspired to bribe school officials in
exchange for their ceding control of the schools’ competitive bidding processes to your
companies.11 In further violation of the E-Rate rules, you promised school applicants that


4 Second Report and Order, 118 FCC Rcd at 9225, para. 66; Program Management Order, 22 FCC Rcd at
16387, para. 32. The Commission’s debarment rules define a “person” as “[a]ny individual, group of
individuals, corporation, partnership, association, unit of government or legal entity, however organized.”
47 C.F.R. § 54.8(a)(6).
5 47 C.F.R. §§ 54.504, 54.511(c).
6 Id. §§ 54.505, 54.523.
7 See Request for Review by Mastermind Internet Services, Inc., Federal-State Joint Board on Universal
Service, Changes to the Board of Directors of the National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc
., CC Docket No.
96-45, Order, 16 FCC Rcd 4028, 4032-33 paras. 10-12 (2000) (Mastermind Order) (finding that when an
applicant surrenders control of the bidding process to an employee of an entity that will also participate in the
bidding process as a prospective service provider, the applicant irreparably impairs its ability to hold a fair and
open competitive bidding process); see also Universal Service Administrative Company’s description of an
Open and Fair Competitive Bidding Process at http://www.universalservice.org/sl/applicants/step03/run-open-
fair-competition.aspx.
8 Plea Agreement at 4–5. The conspiracy involved schools and school districts located throughout Arkansas,
Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Texas. See Appendix.
9 See United States v. Gloria F. Harper, Criminal Docket No. 2:10-cr-00326-CJB-ALC, Factual Basis at 2, 4
(E.D. La. filed June 2, 2011) (Factual Basis).
10 Id.
11 Id. at 3. These bribes included $28,500 in payments to school officials in Louisiana and Arkansas; a $79,382
payment to a school agent in Florida; and a $10,000 payment to a school agent in Illinois. Id. at 3-4.

Ms. Gloria F. Harper
March 22, 2012
Page 3
their required payments would be waived if they chose CTA or GNT as the schools’ E-Rate
service provider.12 You also did not disclose your involvement in the application process or
the promised waivers to the Universal Service Administrative Company.13 CTA and GNT
directly benefited from your fraudulent schemes by receiving approximately $4.5 million in
E-Rate contracts.14 These actions constitute the conduct or transactions upon which this
suspension notice and proposed debarment are based.15
On February 9, 2012, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Louisiana sentenced you to serve 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised
release for conspiring to defraud the federal E-Rate program in multiple states.16 The court
also ordered you to pay a $100 special assessment.17
Pursuant to Section 54.8(b) of the Commission’s rules,18 upon your conviction the
Bureau is required to suspend you from participating in any activities associated with or
related to the E-Rate program, including the receipt of funds or discounted services through
the E-Rate program, or consulting with, assisting, or advising applicants or service providers
regarding the E-Rate program.19 Your suspension becomes effective upon receipt of this
letter or publication of notice of the letter in the Federal Register, whichever comes first.20
In accordance with the Commission’s suspension and debarment rules, you may contest
this suspension or the scope of this suspension by filing arguments, with any relevant
documents, within thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of this letter or after publication of
notice of it in the Federal Register, whichever comes first.21 Such requests, however, will not
ordinarily be granted.22 The Bureau may reverse or limit the scope of suspension only upon


12 Factual Basis at 4; see also United States v. Gloria F. Harper, Criminal Docket No. 2:10-cr-00326-CJB-
ALC, Information at 7 (E.D. La. filed Nov. 18, 2011).
13 Factual Basis at 4.
14 Id.
15 Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 9226, para. 70; 47 C.F.R. § 54.8(e)(2)(i). The Bureau has already
debarred two co-conspirators, Tyrone Pipkin and Barrett C. White, from participating in the E-Rate program.
See Tyrone Pipkin, File No. EB-11-IH-1071, Notice of Debarment, 26 FCC Rcd 16822 (Enf. Bur. 2011);
Barrett C. White, Notice of Debarment, 26 FCC Rcd 16047 (Enf. Bur. 2011); see also Justice News, DEP’T OF
JUSTICE, Former Owner of Illinois Technology Company Sentenced to Serve 30 Months in Prison for Role in
Multi-State Scheme to Defraud Federal E-Rate Program, February 9, 2012, at
http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/February/12-at-189.html.
16 United States v. Gloria F. Harper, Criminal Docket No. 2:10-cr-00326-CJB-ALC, Judgment at 2-3 (filed
Feb. 9, 2012). The prison term will run concurrent with any sentence imposed in the Northern District of
Illinois, Criminal Docket No. 11-479. Id. at 2.
17 Id. at 5.
18 47 C.F.R. § 54.8(b); see Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 9225-27, paras. 67–74.
19 47 C.F.R. § 54.8(a)(1), (d).
20 Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 9226, para. 69; 47 C.F.R. § 54.8(e)(1).
21 47 C.F.R. § 54.8(e)(4).
22 Id.

Ms. Gloria F. Harper
March 22, 2012
Page 4
a finding of extraordinary circumstances.23 The Bureau will decide any request to reverse or
modify a suspension within ninety (90) calendar days of its receipt of such request.24

II.

Initiation of Debarment Proceedings

As discussed above, your guilty plea and conviction of criminal conduct in connection
with the E-Rate program is the basis for your immediate suspension from the program as
well as a basis to commence debarment proceedings against you. Conviction of criminal
fraud is cause for debarment as defined in Section 54.8(c) of the Commission’s rules.25
Therefore, pursuant to Section 54.8(b) of the rules, your conviction requires the Bureau to
commence debarment proceedings against you.26
As with the suspension process, you may contest the proposed debarment or the scope
of the proposed debarment by filing arguments and any relevant documentation within thirty
(30) calendar days of receipt of this letter or publication of notice of it in the Federal
Register, whichever comes first.27 The Bureau, in the absence of extraordinary
circumstances, will notify you of its decision to debar within ninety (90) calendar days of
receiving any information you may have filed.28 If the Bureau decides to debar you, its
decision will become effective upon either your receipt of a debarment notice or publication
of the decision in the Federal Register, whichever comes first.29
If and when your debarment becomes effective, you will be prohibited from
participating in activities associated with or related to the E-Rate program for three years
from the date of debarment.30 The Bureau may set a longer debarment period or extend an
existing debarment period if necessary to protect the public interest.31


23 Id. § 54.8(f).
24 See Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 9226, para. 70; 47 C.F.R. § 54.8(e)(5).
25 “Causes for suspension and debarment are conviction of or civil judgment for attempt or commission of
criminal fraud, theft, embezzlement, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false
statements, receiving stolen property, making false claims, obstruction of justice and other fraud or criminal
offense arising out of activities associated with or related to the schools and libraries support mechanism, the
high-cost support mechanism, the rural healthcare support mechanism, and the low-income support
mechanism.” 47 C.F.R. § 54.8(c). Associated activities “include the receipt of funds or discounted services
through [the federal universal service] support mechanisms, or consulting with, assisting, or advising applicants
or service providers regarding [the federal universal service] support mechanisms.” Id. § 54.8(a)(1).
26 Id. § 54.8(b).
27 Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 9226, para. 70; 47 C.F.R. § 54.8(e)(3).
28 Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 9226, para. 70; 47 C.F.R. § 54.8(e)(5).
29 Id. The Commission may reverse a debarment, or may limit the scope or period of debarment, upon a finding
of extraordinary circumstances, following the filing of a petition by you or an interested party or upon motion
by the Commission. Id. § 54.8(f).
30 Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 9225, para. 67; 47 C.F.R. § 54.8(d), (g).
31 Id. § 54.8(g).

Ms. Gloria F. Harper
March 22, 2012
Page 5
Please direct any response, if sent by messenger or hand delivery, to Marlene H.
Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room TW-
A325, Washington, D.C. 20554, to the attention of Joy M. Ragsdale, Attorney Advisor,
Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, Room 4-A236, with a copy to
Theresa Z. Cavanaugh, Acting Division Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division,
Enforcement Bureau, Room 4-C322, Federal Communications Commission. All messenger
or hand delivery filings must be submitted without envelopes.32 If sent by commercial
overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Express Mail and Priority Mail), the
response must be sent to the Federal Communications Commission, 9300 East Hampton
Drive, Capitol Heights, Maryland 20743. If sent by USPS First Class, Express Mail, or
Priority Mail, the response should be addressed to Joy Ragsdale, Attorney Advisor,
Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications
Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 4-A236, Washington, D.C. 20554, with a copy to
Theresa Z. Cavanaugh, Acting Division Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division,
Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 4-
C322, Washington, D.C. 20554. You shall also transmit a copy of your response via e-mail
to Joy M. Ragsdale, joy.ragsdale@fcc.gov and to Theresa Z. Cavanaugh,
Terry.Cavanaugh@fcc.gov.
If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Ragsdale via U.S. postal mail, e-mail, or
by telephone at (202) 418-1697. You may contact me at (202) 418-1553 or at the e-mail
address noted above if Ms. Ragsdale is unavailable.
Sincerely yours,
Theresa Z. Cavanaugh
Acting Chief
Investigations and Hearings Division
Enforcement Bureau
cc: Johnnay Schrieber, Universal Service Administrative Company (via e-mail)
Rashann Duvall, Universal Service Administrative Company (via e-mail)
Juan Rodriguez, Antitrust Division, United States Department of Justice (via e-mail)
Stephanie Toussaint, Antitrust Division, United States Department of Justice (via e-mail)


32 See FCC Announces Change in Filing Location for Paper Documents, Public Notice, 24 FCC Rcd 14312
(2009) for further filing instructions.

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