SAN FRANCISCO — Facing allegations it overcharged the government for wiretaps and other court-authorized surveillance, Sprint Communications Inc. has beefed up its defense team with lawyers from Williams & Connolly.
Washington, D.C.-based partners R. Hackney Wiegmann, Dane Butswinkas and Edward Barnidge entered appearances for the company on Monday in U.S. v. Sprint, 14-962, filed last month in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
The government accuses Sprint of inflating its bills to law enforcement agencies by 58 percent, running up more than $21 million in unauthorized costs. Law enforcement agencies reimburse carriers for carrying out court-authorized surveillance such as wiretaps, pen registers and trap devices, but the companies may no longer include the costs of equipment upgrades in their bills. Sprint allegedly continued to charge the government for those costs.
The Williams & Connolly lawyers round out a defense team for Sprint that already includes Perkins Coie partner David Taylor, who is based in Seattle. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Saltiel is prosecuting the case, which has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer.
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