Family accused of bogus phone charges seeks delay

LEWIS AND CLARK COUNTY

POSTED: 3:44 PM Jul 08 2013   UPDATED: 4:04 PM Jul 08 2013
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HELENA, Mont. -

A Montana family charged with tacking $70 million in unauthorized charges onto phone bills is asking a judge to delay proceedings and set settlement talks for civil and possible criminal charges.

The Federal Trade Commission is suing Steven Sann, his wife Terry, son Nathan and accountant Robert Braach. The FTC says companies run by the Sanns added the charges starting in 2008.

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen stayed proceedings until July 8 after the Sanns said a parallel criminal investigation was underway.

On Friday, the Sanns asked the judge for a 60-day extension and to refer the matter to a settlement conference.

The Sanns want to negotiate a settlement with both the U.S. attorney's office and the FTC.

The FTC opposes extending the stay and says settlement talks are premature.