Hewlett Packard Pays $16.25 million in Whistleblower suit


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Tech giant Hewlett Packard agreed to pay $16.25 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit. The Department Of Justice (DOJ) said the settlement is in regards to bidding rules violations performed to secure technology contracts. Whistleblowers Dave Gillis and Dave Richardson of Houston as well as Dan Cain and Pamela Tingley of Dallas further alleged that HP breached a contract with Dallas and Houston based school systems. The false claims and corruption revolve around the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) E-Rate program.

E-Rate is a US Government sponsored Internet communications technology funding operation for schools that provides very lucrative contracts for companies like HP and it’s partners.

Two separate lawsuits were filed against HP partners Micro Systems Engineering (MSE) and Analytical Computer Services (ACS). The allegations state that MSE and ACS offered the use of  private yachts and Superbowl tickets to school district staff and officials in return for the technology service contracts. Under whistleblower provisions of the federal False Claims Act the federal government became involved in the cases.

MSE and ACS would have used HP hardware for the program if the suits had not been filed. HP said in a published statement that the company co-operated fully with investigators and considers the matter to be resolved. The hardware maker went on to say that it needs it’s employees and partners to stick to moral and legal practices.

Some blame was placed on Houston businessman Frankie Wong who set up a group of businesses that included HP and was known as “The Consortium.”

The settlement also ensures that HP will train all of it’s employees on the FCC’s gift guidelines and other E-Rate rules and provides for audits of HP’s E-Rate business practices.

The courageous whistleblowers will be compensated for their brave actions. Cain and Tingley will be paid $1,424,969 while Richardson and Gillis will receive $796,280. It’s incentives like these that keep American companies like HP honest.







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