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CenturyLink, Inc. Message Board

  • Low_Mac Low_Mac Jan 15, 2005 8:13 AM Flag

    Kenneth Matzdorff (2)

    Jeff Morris, an attorney who represents Rebecca Matzdorff, said there had never been any allegation brought against her, �and for good reason.�
    �She had no knowledge of the activities that are the basis for the criminal charges,� he said.
    The Kansas City charge stems from federal subsidies received by Cass County Telephone, better known as CassTel, under the Universal Service Fund. The fund, which is supported through monthly surcharges paid by telephone customers, supports phone service in high-cost and rural areas.
    According to a criminal complaint filed against Kenneth Matzdorff in Brooklyn last summer, CassTel sought reimbursement from the fund for computer services provided to it by Overland Data Center in Overland Park. The complaint charged that CassTel paid between five and 10 times the true value of the services.
    Prosecutors say Overland Data Center was controlled by alleged Gambino family member Richard Martino, one of the defendants in next month's scheduled trial in Brooklyn. Overland Data Center allegedly received and processed calls to Gambino-controlled shell companies that advertised phone sex, psychic hot lines and dating services using 1-800 phone numbers.
    CassTel received payments of about $1 million quarterly from the Universal Service Fund. Matzdorff will plead guilty in Kansas City to defrauding the fund and the National Exchange Carriers Association of payments made to CassTel between 1996 and August 2004. The association was established by the Federal Communications Commission in 1983 to handle tariff filings and revenue distributions in the wake of the court-ordered breakup of AT&T.
    After Matzdorff was charged in Brooklyn, the Missouri Public Commission declined to certify that CassTel and New Florence Telephone Co., another small phone carrier operated by a Matzdorff-linked company, were eligible to receive payments from the fund.
    In a news release Tuesday, the commission said it had directed its staff to conduct a review of the payments in light of Matzdorff's guilty plea in Brooklyn. It also asked its staff to determine whether Matzdorff had given false testimony before the commission at a rate hearing in April.
    As part of his cooperation agreement with prosecutors, Matzdorff agreed to give up his interest in Local Exchange Co. LLC, the parent company of CassTel. Matzdorff is president of LEC, but prosecutors say LEC is owned by Gambino family captain Salvatore LoCascio and Gambino family members Richard Martino, Zef Mustafa, Norman Chanes and Daniel Martino.
    According to prosecutors, LEC was used as a receptacle for illegal proceeds generated by the Internet pornography scheme, which purported to offer free tours of adult Web sites but billed customers for their visits.

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