Friday, October 29, 2010

Deaf Agency Owners Plead Guilty

The owners of a deaf service agency in Maryland has plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud yesterday in a New Jersey courtroom. John T.C. Yeh and brother Joseph Yeh owned Rockville-based Viable. They admitted trying to defraud the FCC's Video Relay Service program by paying people to make fake calls. They submitted about $55 million in claims to the federal agency, asking for reinbursment. Other charges were dropped in return for the guilty pleas. The brothers face 20 year prison sentences at their February 9th sentencing. 24 other people from around the country also faced charges. At least 11 pleaded guilty in the past year. John Yeh has been a part of National Asian Deaf Congress and National Deaf Business Institute. A trustee of Gallaudet University, he was selected by Deaf Life magazine as Deaf Person of the Year in 2008. New York's Snap!VRS agreed to aquire Viable last year, pending the outcome of the investigations and prosecutions.