AT&T drops claim vs. businessman who got $1M bill after someone made $900K in overseas calls

IPSWICH, Mass. – AT&T Inc. says it’s dropping its legal fight against a Massachusetts businessman whose company was on the hook for a fraudulent million-dollar phone bill.

The telecommunications company said in a statement Monday it is no longer pursuing its claims against Michael Smith of Ipswich, “though we are entitled by law to collect the amounts owed.”

Smith said the offer depends on his dropping a countersuit. He’ll meet with his attorney about it on Tuesday.

Smith says someone hacked into his small manufacturing company’s phone system in 2009 and made nearly $900,000 in calls to Somalia. AT&T sued Smith for $1.15 million to recover the cost of the calls plus interest.

Smith told The Salem News ( ) he repeatedly asked AT&T to write off the bill. He said paying it could force his business to close.


Information from: The Salem (Mass.) News,