Accenture to Pay $63.7M Fine to Settle DOJ Kickback Case

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-09-12 Print this article Print

The DOJ charged that as a result of these kickbacks from other companies, Accenture caused a high number of false claims to be submitted during the procurement process for IT contracts with U.S. government agencies.

IT integration and consulting firm Accenture on Sept. 12 agreed to pay a fine of $63.7 million to settle a Department of Justice lawsuit charging that it accepted kickbacks from IT companies in exchange for good recommendations to federal agencies looking for new technology.

The DOJ, which has been on the warpath with several IT companies for five years on cases of this nature, stated in court documents that as a result of these kickbacks, Accenture caused a high number of false claims to be submitted during the procurement process for IT contracts with U.S. government agencies.

Accenture, a longtime U.S. government contractor, advises federal agencies on how to acquire IT hardware, software and services. It also contracts with selected technology companies to provide integrated solutions for specific IT projects for the federal government.

Specifically, the DOJ said in court documents that Accenture received improper payments and rebates through partnerships it had established with a list of companies. Three of the more prominent ones on that list included IBM, data storage and protection provider EMC, and Sun Microsystems, which was acquired by Oracle in January 2010.

In August 2010, Hewlett-Packard agreed to pay $50 million to settle a similar lawsuit filed by the DOJ. Whistleblower lawsuits, filed by officials with Accenture and PricewaterhouseCoopers, initially were filed in 2004 against Accenture, HP and Sun Microsystems for allegedly soliciting payments or making those payments for governmental technology contracts.

The DOJ joined the whistleblower lawsuits with its own court action in 2007.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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