By Ethan Wilensky-Lanford
December 22. 2007
Somebody called Saudi Arabia for 808 minutes from a Franklin business's
phone line on New Year's Eve in 2005. Michael Bednaz, who owns the
company, Hexa Interactive Communications LLC, said that it was not
anybody from his office. AT&T has sued him for not paying a $14,653.62
bill, which includes $8,695.60 from that one call.
Eight hundred and eight minutes is over 13 hours. The call was one of
about a half dozen made overseas and billed to his business.
"It's called phone fraud," said Bednaz, who does not even use AT&T for
his long-distance service. "I'm 100 percent sure that it wasn't any
His lawyer, Eric Sommers, explained that AT&T has a tariff defining a
"casual user," when somebody dials a remote billing code, like 10 10
"Hexa never ordered the casual calling services," Sommers said. "They
happened when Hexa was closed for business. They happened at 11 o'clock
in the evening, 1 o'clock in the morning, to places where Hexa does not
It's unclear who made the calls. Hexa has a password-protected voicemail
system, like most businesses in the area.
"The system is not opened to the general public," Sommers said. "A
sophisticated user who understands telephone systems could nonetheless
hack into that system and access outside phone lines, which is
apparently what happened."
Bednaz filed a report for theft of services with the Franklin police in
February 2006, after receiving the unusual bill. He said he contacted
the FBI field office in Boston, as well, in the hopes of help resolving
the issue. He has not had any luck with AT&T, which he called "the 800
The company was unmoved, and filed its civil suit against Hexa on Dec.
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