THE US HAS SETTLED a $16.25 million lawsuit against HP and its former business partners for violating competitive bidding rules.
Accused of various bad acts including making false claims and corruption, HP and its ex-business partners have lost two whistleblower lawsuits. The lawsuits were filed because Micro Systems Engineering (MSE), Analytical Computer Services (ACS) and HP offered gratuities to land contracts for the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) E-Rate programme.
The E-Rate programme is a US government sponsored Internet communications technology funding operation for schools, and its contracts for companies like HP and its former business partners are quite lucrative.
The two legal actions were related to contracts at the Dallas and Houston Independent School Districts. Both MSE and ACS offered the use of private yachts and Super Bowl tickets to school district staff and officials to land the technology services contracts.
Dan Cain and Pamela Tingley filed a lawsuit in Dallas against former MSE CEO Frankie Wong and the former CTO at the Dallas school district, Ruben Bohuchot. Another lawsuit was filed by Dave Richardson and Dave Gillis in Houston against ACS. The US government intervened in both cases under the whistleblower provisions of the federal False Claims Act.
HP would have been a primary hardware vendor used under ACS and MSE's contracts with the Dallas and Houston Independent School Districts.
As the settlement against HP revealed yesterday, Cain and Tingley are going to receive $1,424,969 and Richardson and Gillis will share $796,280 as their bounties for exposing the misdeeds that were committed by HP, MCE and ACS.
The costs of this corruption have been spread among all the players. In 2008 Wong and Bohuchot were already taken down and the Dallas school district had to pay out $750,000. The Houston school district had to stump up an even heftier $850,000. µ
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