Mass. businessman fights AT&T over $1M phone bill

July 9, 2012 8:10:26 AM PDT
A Massachusetts businessman is engaged in a legal battle with AT&T Inc. over what he calls a fraudulent million-dollar phone bill.

Michael Smith, of Ipswich, says in 2009 someone hacked into his small manufacturing company's phone system 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 tells The Salem News he has repeatedly asked AT&T to write off the bill but the company has not budged. He says if he is forced to pay it, his company will close and his 14 employees will lose their jobs.

Smith has countersued, alleging abuse of the legal process and violation of state consumer-protection laws.

An AT&T spokeswoman says the company does not comment on pending litigation.

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