Court documents posted in fed's Sun, HP kickback lawsuit

We've posted documents in the Justice Department's False Claims Act lawsuit that names Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems and Accenture as defendants.

Yesterday we reported that the U.S. Justice Department had joined a case against Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems and Accenture alleging that they paid unlawful kickbacks in federal purchases.

The complaint alleges that the defendants are using affiliate relationships "to enrich themselves through a kickback scheme" in violations of the False Claims Act. The Justice Department is asking for an injunction, civil penalties, and attorneys' fees, and did not act against Dell and EDS, though they are named in the existing suit.

We've posted the documents here:

Order dismissing claims against Microsoft (1-page PDF)
Justice Department's False Claims Act complaint (106-page PDF)
Order saying Justice Department has not acted against Dell, EDS (2-page PDF)
Justice Department's complaint against Sun Microsystems (31-page PDF)

For the record, the companies deny the charges, and there's clearly much more to the story than the government's allegations. Sun told us the Justice Department complaint follows a lengthy audit, the results of which it has not seen: "Sun has fully cooperated with the audit process, as it routinely does, and welcomes the opportunity to review the audit results as soon as permitted and to address the resulting claims in a fair and impartial forum."

HP said: "HP is proud to partner with the government and is confident its business practices are appropriate. We plan to vigorously defend this action and look forward to demonstrating that HP has done nothing wrong."

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About the author

Declan McCullagh is the chief political correspondent for CNET. You can e-mail him or follow him on Twitter as declanm. Declan previously was a reporter for Time and the Washington bureau chief for Wired and wrote the Taking Liberties section and Other People's Money column for CBS News' Web site.

 

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