More than a dozen license winners in three auctions conducted by the FCC between 2005 and 2008 have been charged by federal prosecutors with defrauding the U.S. Treasury by falsely claiming small business bidding credits and through other means. Entities named in the Justice Department (DOJ) complaints filed in April 2008 and in May 2008 include United States Cellular (USC) and its parent company, Telephone & Data Systems, Inc. (TDS); Carroll Wireless, L.P., Barat Wireless, L.P., and associated partnerships formed by USC and TDS; SLO Cellular, Inc., and Elephant Walk, LLC. Late last year and in January, the U.S. District Court partially unsealed the amended DOJ complaints to allow the FCC to make reference to the cases in its licensing proceedings. In letters mailed Tuesday by the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, the FCC gave at least three of the defendants the opportunity to respond to the DOJ allegations in the interest of developing “a full record for our review.” Specifically, in the April 2008 DOJ complaint, USC and TDS are accused of forming “sham ‘very small business’ bidding entities” through a “complex and longstanding scheme” for the purpose of claiming bidding credits of 25% during last year’s 700 MHz auction, the 2006 advanced wireless services (AWS) auction, and a broadband PCS auction conducted in 2005. In a separate complaint filed in May 2008, the DOJ charges SLO Cellular and Elephant Walk with making false statements in their AWS auction applications, “including false certifications of compliance with the FCC’s anti-collusion and real-party-in-interest rules and false certification of entitlement to bidding discounts.” The same complaint cites similar activities that also took place with respect to the 700 MHz auction, resulting in the illegal appropriation of government property valued between $54 million and $94 million. The parties are required to respond to the FCC by May 4.