Prison Telecom Price-Fixing/RICO

Albert et al v. Global Tel*Link Corp. et al, Civil Action No. 8:20-cv-01936 (U.S. District Court for Maryland)

This class action lawsuit alleges that Global Tel*Link Corp. (“GTL”), Securus Technologies, LLC (“Securus”), and 3Cinteractive Corp. (“3CI”) charged unlawfully inflated prices for collect calls made by incarcerated individuals in jails and prisons throughout the United States. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that those Defendants secretly fixed inflated prices for calls between prisoners and their family members, friends, attorneys, and others, while also repeatedly lying to local governments and their own customers about the costs of those calls in order to charge the inflated prices.

During the last ten years, Securus and then GTL, the nation’s two largest providers of inmate calling services, sold a new type of call from prisoners—the “single call.” These “single calls” charged an astronomical price, i.e. $14.99 or $9.99, to accept a one-time collect call from an incarcerated person. The lawsuit alleges that Securus and GTL were able to charge these excessive “single call” prices by secretly agreeing to eliminate competition between them and to fix the same inflated “single call” prices to consumers in violation of the federal antitrust laws.

To justify charging such high prices for “single calls,” GTL and Securus claimed, in communications with both governments and consumers, that most of the prices consisted of “transaction fees” paid to 3CI to implement the calls. The lawsuit alleges that, in reality, Securus and GTL paid 3CI a mere fraction of the supposed “transaction fees” and secretly pocketed the difference, in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

The lawsuit seeks to prevent the defendants from continuing their unlawful misconduct and to recover financial damages for the classes of purchasers.

A copy of the complaint is available HERE.

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