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Oracle whistleblower asks for $42,000,000 reward

Oracle News by Burleson Consulting

June 18, 2015

This article reports on a 2007 lawsuit now being joined by the United States Government Department of Justice against Oracle Corporation, led by an ex-Oracle employee who alleges that Oracle denied discounts that it normally gave to non-government customers.

Ex-Oracle employee Paul Frascella brought this lawsuit back in 2007 under the False Claims Act, which allows private citizens to sue a company on behalf of the federal government.  He's seeking 25% of all damages, which may reach up to $169 million dollars, giving Frascella up to $42,000,000.  

His lawsuit was kept “under seal” since 2007, and it has now been made public after US Department of Justice has joined Frascella has decided to join the lawsuit against Oracle, alleging that Oracle overcharged American taxpayers.

“Taxpayers overpaid for each Oracle software product by the amount of discounts and reductions from other commercial pricing practices that should applied to each such purchase."

InformationWeek goes even further, suggesting that Oracle is required to reveal all of their deep discounts, suggesting that a software vendor is required to disclose their confidential business practices to government bureaucrats. 

GSA restrictions

According to the lawsuit, the Government Service Office (GSA) allows a software vendor to list their products in government catalogs after certifying that they have given the United States their most favorable deep discounts, equal to or greater than their largest commercial discounts.

The False Claims Act

The False Claims Act is also known as the “Lincoln Law” is a whistleblower law that allows individual to file lawsuits on behalf of the United States Government.

The False Claims Act deal appears to deal with clear criminal fraud activity, something that Frascella does not allege in his lawsuit.  Further, the False Claims Act does not require Oracle, (or any other vendor) to give the United States a discount on their goods and services.   This lawsuit is also fishy because if these allegations were true, criminal charges would have been filed.

Critical Analysis

The problem with this lawsuit is that Oracle has made very generous deals with the United States Government, most notably in 2001 when CEO Larry Ellison offered to give America a free National ID system to help prevent terrorism, an offer worth tens of millions of dollars. 

Other State governments enjoy deep-discounts on Oracle via all-you-can-eat licenses, and Oracle Academy generously provides licenses to public schools. 

The DOJ is going to have a tough road to hoe by proving that Oracle has been less than generous with the American taxpayer.

 
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