Wiretaps dropped after FBI doesn't pay bills

An audit revealed that the FBI didn't pay for over half of 990 phone bills for surveillance services on time, so the phone companies who were owed money dropped the wiretaps.

Telephone companies have cut off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of the bureau's repeated failures to pay phone bills on time.

A Justice Department audit released Thursday blamed the lost connections on the FBI's lax oversight of money used in undercover investigations. Poor supervision of the program also allowed one agent to steal $25,000, the audit said.