- NYT’s David Brooks: Obama has ‘manhood problem’ in Middle East
- Ted Cruz thanks Obama for denying visas to terrorists
- Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche
- General Mills apologizes for ‘right to sue’ confusion, reverses policy
- Dealer wanted in U.S. for art fraud nabbed in Spain
- Easter morning delivery for space station
- Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76
- Probe could complicate Rick Perry’s prospects
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
- Obamas head to church on Easter morning
Bankrupt wireless firm probe kept closed
Claims against feds confidential
A wireless company that went bankrupt owing taxpayers more than $70 million secured a court order Monday to keep under wraps an investigation into whether it has “viable claims” against the federal government.
The order comes as Open Range Communications, which won a $267 million loan guarantee in 2008, tells customers to find other Internet providers. A prospective buyer pulled out of a deal to buy the company earlier this month, clearing the way for liquidation plans.
“Open Range has discontinued operations,” the company posted on its website recently. “Please seek another Internet service provider NOW.”
The message is a far cry from the promise hailed by the company and government officials alike when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a record loan guarantee package for Open Range late in the Bush administration.
Plans called for the company to provide broadband service to more than 500 rural communities in 17 states. Out of the $267 million loan guarantee, the USDA released $78 million to Open Range. The company repaid just $4.5 million before filing for bankruptcy in October.
On Monday, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin J. Carey approved an order to keep confidential details of an investigation into whether Open Range had any viable claims against, among others, the USDA’s Rural Utility Service and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Last year, the FCC denied a request from a satellite provider called Globalstar that had partnered with Open Range. Among the reasons the company cited for its collapse, Open Range noted the FCC ruling in its bankruptcy petition.
He also said the USDA would be working with the Justice Department to “protect the federal government’s interest in the loan.”
The judge’s order came in response to a motion days earlier from a bankruptcy attorney for Open Range, who had asked for a protective order because the investigation involved “certain confidential documents,” including trade secrets, customer and supplier lists, and pricing information.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Jim McElhatton is an investigative reporter for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- HHS nominee Sylvia Burwell entangled in MetLife lawsuit
- HHS nominee got $1.2M at 'zero' salary job at Wal-Mart
- Federal workers watch 'Star Trek' on clock
- Sen. Menendez pal Salomon Melgen collected $20 million from Medicare
- U.S. picks up $700 million tab for coalition's food and laundry in Afghanistan
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- EXCLUSIVE: FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- 10 million new babies? China's hope for boom likely to become policy bust
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.