AT&T Drops Legal Fight Over Man's $1M Bill

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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UPDATE: Monday, July 9, 2012

AT&T Inc. says it's dropping its legal fight against a Massachusetts businessman whose company was on the hook for a fraudulent million-dollar phone bill.

The telecommunications company said in a statement Monday it is no longer pursuing its claims against Michael Smith of Ipswich, "though we are entitled by law to collect the amounts owed."

Smith said the offer depends on his dropping a countersuit. He'll meet with his attorney about it on Tuesday.

Smith says someone hacked into his small manufacturing company's phone system in 2009 and made nearly $900,000 in calls to Somalia. AT&T sued Smith for $1.15 million to recover the cost of the calls plus interest.

Smith says he repeatedly asked AT&T to write off the bill. He said paying it could force his business to close.

Monday, July 19, 2012

A Massachusetts businessman is engaged in a legal battle with AT&T Inc. over what he calls a fraudulent million-dollar phone bill.

Michael Smith, of Ipswich, says in 2009 someone hacked into his small manufacturing company's phone system and made nearly $900,000 in calls to Somalia. AT&T sued Smith for $1.15 million to recover the cost of the calls plus interest.

Smith tells The Salem News he has repeatedly asked AT&T to write off the bill but the company has not budged. He says if he is forced to pay it, his company will close and his 14 employees will lose their jobs.

Smith has countersued, alleging abuse of the legal process and violation of state consumer-protection laws.

An AT&T spokeswoman says the company does not comment on pending litigation.


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