Friday, November 27, 2009

VRS Deal in Doubt

A plan by a video relay service company to buy Viable may not happen after all. Viable's president, John Yeh, and three other executives have been indicted along with others around the country in a scam to defraud the U.S. government out of millions of dollars. Snap!VRS had agreed to buy Maryland-based Viable back in August but the deal wasn't finalized when the indictments came out. According to the FBI, the defendants created fraudulent call minutes by making it appear that deaf Americans were engaging in legitimate calls with hearing persons. Viable is also facing lawsuits filed in federal and state courts by more than 100 employees seeking back payment of wages.

John Yeh, a native of Taiwan who immigrated to the U.S. as a teenager, has been a part of organizations such as the National Asian Deaf Congress and National Deaf Business Institute. He served as a trustee of Gallaudet University for more than a decade. Deaf Life, a monthly national magazine, honored Yeh as Deaf Person of the Year.