Phil Falcone has a new public enemy: Sen. Charles Grassley.
Grassley sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about Falcone’s LightSquared project, which Falcone says portrays him in a very shady light.
Basically, Grassley asks the FCC how it can approve a venture that’s being spearheaded by someone who has been targeted by multiple investigations.
Grassley writes in a letter to the FCC:
In continuing to support, “the opportunity presented by LightSquared” is the FCC concerned regarding these multiple investigations of Mr. Falcone?
Then he writes something that really irked Falcone. In the next paragraph, Grassley refers to an unamed entity or entities that are “serial violators of our nation’s securities laws.”
Does the FCC have any safeguards to ensure that valuable spectrum [airwave] allocations are not made to serial violators of our nation’s securities laws?
Mentioning these two issues in the same letter, even if the second reference about “serial violators” didn’t specifically name Falcone, left “an inappropriate impression” about himself, Falcone argued in an email (probably to Grassley’s office), according to Bloomberg.
So the Harbinger chief wants “to clarify some of the questions raised” by Grassley’s letter in a meeting.
A spokesperson for Grassley said Sorry, Falcone! The Senator’s letter wasn’t focused on one individual and was “prosepective.”
Remember, earlier this year the FCC gave a greenlight to Falcone’s request for LightSquared to lease airwaves (spectrum) that were previously reserved for satellite communications, without having to offer satellite services itself. (defence officials have been worried that Falcone‘s service would mess with GPS systems and they’ll continute to look into whether that’s the case.)
Grassley’s letter demanded more answers from the FCC about their preliminary approval of the venture.
Falcone has been informally probed by the SEC for possible market manipulation and “violations of the “short sale rule” but has never been charged.