According to a new lawsuit, Sprint owes the government by $21 million.
As we all now know so well, the government loves to know what's going on with our phone calls. To make sure it can tap any phone at any time, it requires phone companies to keep lines at the ready. This all costs money. Some of those expenses can be reimbursed from the government, though others are the legally required cost of doing business in this country, thanks to 1994's Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act.
It seems that Sprint and the Department of Justice don't agree on which expenses can be reimbursed and which cannot. In a lawsuit filed today, the government is accusing Sprint of overcharging for the wiretaps and pen registers the company is required to provide.
According to the suit, Sprint knowingly overcharged the government by $21 million between January 1, 2007 and July 31, 2010. The DOJ didn't realize there was a 58 percent, the suit says, because the receipts Sprint submitted weren't itemized, so the government didn't know what it was paying for.