Last week, Elizabeth Pierce was arrested for allegedly pulling off a large-scale investment fraud scheme. This news is significant because Pierce was selected by Ajit Pai, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, to run a federal advisory committee before these allegations surfaced.
Pai chose Pierce to be the chair of the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee because of her appeared concern with bringing high-speed internet to various parts of the nation. The goal of this group is to help with the widespread availability of this technology by reducing regulations for investors. It’s likely that Pai held Pierce’s ability to receive outside investments as a great advantage to the newly founded committee, but it has come to the surface that most of the investments Pierce was previously successful in gathering were fraudulent.
Pierce was formerly a very successful chief executive of Quintillion in Anchorage, Alaska. During her time working in this position, it is alleged that she raised around $250 million from investment companies in New York. She gained these investments using forged contracts and additionally promised unreasonable amounts of future revenue. In August of last year, Pierce resigned from her position.
It has been determined that Pierce forged signatures from other parties on multiple contracts, and these actions could land her in prison for over 20 years. Her former company, Quintillion, is cooperating with the Department of Justice to investigate all crimes of fraud. The FCC announced that Pierce had resigned from their committee in September due to the ongoing investigation. Elizabeth Bowles, president of Aristotle, replaced Pierce as the new chairman.