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By | Drew Cullen 19th April 2007 21:32

US backs whistleblower suits against HP, Sun and Accenture

Kickback Rodeo

The Department of Justice has joined three whistleblower suits accusing HP, Accenture and Sun Microsystems of raiding IT contracts with US government agencies to fund kickbacks for channel partners.

The nub of the complaint is that the accused, all members of Accenture's Global Alliance program, received discounts from and dished out discounts to companies for work done on government contracts from the late 90s to the present. Those discounts were retained by the channel companies, but should have been returned to the Government, according to the DoJ. "These alliance relationships and the resulting alliance benefits amount to kickbacks and undisclosed conflict of interest relationships," it said in a statement.

"The Department of Justice is acting in this case to protect the integrity of the procurement process," said Peter Keisler, assistant attorney general.

The suits were originally filed by former Accenture workers Norman Rille and Neal Roberts. Under the False Claims Act, they will can file an action on behalf of the United States and get a cut of any booty. The government can claw back three times the amount of its losses plus civil penalties.

HP intends to defend the suit, according to reports. ®

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