U.S. joins whistleblower case against IT companies

Case alleges that HP, Sun and Accenture submitted false claims on government contracts and had relationships with other businesses that created conflicts of interest.

U.S. authorities said on Thursday the government has joined in a whistleblower case filed against Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems and Accenture, alleging the companies "solicited and provided improper payments" on government contracts.

The Justice Department said it filed a civil complaint in federal court based on allegations leveled in a private lawsuit alleging that the companies submitted false claims to federal agencies for information technology hardware and services "on numerous government contracts from the late 1990s to the present."

The private lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Little Rock, Ark., and alleges the companies have made payments to a number of companies with whom they had global "alliance relationships."

The government's lawsuit contends the relationships and resulting "alliance benefits" that were paid amounted to kickbacks and raised undisclosed conflicts of interest.

Story Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

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