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D.C. Superior Court Judge Melvin Wright dismissed a case last week brought by Alan Grayson that accused several telecom companies of defrauding the D.C. government. Grayson, a partner in the McLean, Va., firm Grayson & Kubli, and a 2008 candidate for a U.S. congressional seat in Florida, is known for representing whistle-blowers in qui tam cases — i.e., actions brought by private citizens acting in the interest of the government. In this case, however, Grayson was the whistle-blower. Frederick Cooke Jr. of Rubin, Winston, Diercks, Harris & Cooke represented him. Citing the D.C. False Claims Act, the Unclaimed Property Act, and the Consumer Protection Procedures Act, Grayson alleged that AT&T Corp., Verizon Communications Corp., Sprint Corp., and a host of subsidiaries were withholding millions of dollars in unclaimed funds from the District by claiming unused balances on prepaid calling cards as revenue. The case, filed in 2002, languished in court while the D.C. government pondered whether to get involved (it ultimately chose not to). Wright granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss during a Nov. 7 hearing, after finding that Grayson did not qualify as a genuine whistle-blower under D.C. law.
Marisa McQuilken can be contacted at [email protected].

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