$19.2m for turning them in

26 April 2009

27 April 2009 | Martha McKenzie- Minifie

A whistleblower is set to get a $19.2 million (£13 million) share of a legal settlement after raising allegations of fraud in the US.

Igor Kapuscinski took legal action on behalf of the US government against his former employer Network Appliance (NetApp), alleging the company had not properly followed long-standing General Services Administration "best price" procurement guidelines.

In a statement on 15 April, the US Department of Justice said it had reached a settlement with computer storage and data management company NetApp, in which the firm would pay the US government $128 million (£87.6 million), plus interest.

Under the US False Claims Act, a whistleblower can file a fraud complaint on behalf of the US government and share in the recovery.

The department said the case was investigated as part of a National Procurement Fraud initiative, and the settlement was the largest contract fraud settlement the General Services Administration (GSA) had obtained.

It said the settlement resolved various allegations, including that NetApp knowingly failed to comply with price reduction clauses of its GSA contracts by not fully disclosing discounts it gave to commercial customers.

"We will ensure that government contractors provide the government with the price it has been promised and all of the discounts to which it is entitled," said Jeffrey A Taylor, US attorney for the District of Columbia.

A department spokesman said the US made certain allegations of fraud in regard to NetApp and a settlement was reached without the need for a trial.


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