LightSquared Financier Charged with Fraud by SEC

A June 27 article by Computerworld reports that embattled hedge fund manager Philip Falcone has been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with several counts of fraud including misappropriation of funds from his Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund. Harbinger Capital is the primary investor in the failed LightSquared nationwide Long Term Evolution (LTE) network gamble.

“Today’s charges read like a final exam in a graduate school course in how to operate a hedge fund unlawfully,” Read more

Sen. Grassley Lifts Hold on FCC Nominees

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) on April 27 released a hold he placed on two nominees for vacant commissioner seats at the FCC. Releasing the hold will allow the senate to proceed with its review and potential confirmation of the two applicants.

Sen. Grassley placed the holds on Ajit Pai (R) and Jessica Rosenworcel (De) four months ago after his request for information from the commission was rebuffed primarily due to Sen. Grassley not holding a leadership position on a committee with jurisdiction over the commission.

In a statement released by his office, Sen. Grassley said that he intends to pursue his inquiry into LightSquared. “The documents I’ve seen so far raise more questions than I had before,” he said. Read more

LightSquared Headed for Bankruptcy?

In an April 4 interview with Reuters, Philip Falcone, chief financial officer of Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, the majority owner of LightSquared, said he was “seriously considering” voluntary bankruptcy for LightSquared, although it is one of several options under review. LightSquared reported a net loss of $427 in the first nine months of 2011.

Inmarsat, a British satellite company, was quoted in a separate Reuter’s article saying that LightSquared had missed a second payment, which was due on March 31, for licensing part of its spectrum. The April 3 report listed the unpaid amount at $29.6 million. Inmarsat had earlier reported a $56.25 million payment that LightSquared failed to pay in February. Read more

LightSquared Changes, Congressional Inquiry and More

On February 28, LightSquared announced its Chief Executive Officer Sanjiv Ahuja had resigned his position but would continue with LightSquared as its board chairman. The company will conduct a search to fill the CEO position. In the interim, current Chief Financial Officer Marc Montagner and Chief Network Officer Doug Smith will act as co-chief operating officers. It also was announced that Philip Falcone, chief executive officer of Harbinger Capital Partners, has been added to the LightSquared board of directors. Read more

The LightSquared Week in Review

Early last week, LightSquared announced that it had signed its 39th wholesale agreement, welcoming Telcom Ventures to the 4G LTE service. Telcom Ventures operates two services, Assist Wireless and New-Talk. Both services carry the FCC certification of Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC), which allows them to provide lifeline services to low-income subscribers.

LightSquared‘s plans are currently on hold, waiting for approval from the FCC before it can begin operations with its wholesale partners. Read more