Oracle to Pay $8M to Settle Suit over Training Fees

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2005-05-16

Oracle Corp. will pay the federal government $8 million to settle a whistle-blower suit that charged the company with overbilling for software training.

According to a statement issued on Friday by the United States Attorneys office for the District of Massachusetts, the suit was set in motion by a whistle-blower who was once vice president of North American Sales for Oracle University. The whistle-blower will receive $1.58 million of the total settlement amount.

In the case against the Redwood Shores, Calif., database company, the United States alleged that Oracle submitted false claims for payment from 1997 through 2003.

The charges were billed to various government agencies, according to the statement, and related to a contract between Oracle and the General Services Administration.

Specifically, Oracle was charged with billing to and collecting from the government in advance of providing training; of "expiring" (i.e., forfeiting to Oracle) millions of dollars paid in advance for training services that werent used within a one-year period; and failing to comply with Federal Travel Regulations in billing the federal government for travel and expenses.

Although the governments statement did not disclose which federal agencies were overbilled, it did list those that sent agents to investigate: the GSAs Office of Inspector General; the FBI; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the Department of the Air Forces Office of Special Investigations; the Department of the Armys Criminal Investigation Command; the U.S. Department of Agricultures Office of Inspector General; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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