HP to pay $16.25M to settle DOJ, FCC investigation
Hewlett-Packard has agreed to pay $16.25 million in a settlement with the Justice Department after an extensive investigation into allegations the company defrauded a federal program that brings Internet connections and computers to schools and libraries.
Justice and the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees the federal E-Rate program, had conducted the investigation into the computer and print giant in response to tips from whistelblowers, the FCC said in a statement.
The investigation looked into contractors working with HP and other companies, who allegedly lavished gifts on Dallas Independent School District and Houston
Independent School District personnel to get information and win contracts to sell $17 million in HP equipment to those schools.
Those gifts included meals, entertainment, trips on a yacht and tickets to the 2004 Super Bowl.
"Broadband is key to our children's 21st century education," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in a statement. "That's why one of the FCC's top priorities is making sure E-rate works to benefit students and libraries. Today's settlement shows the extensive efforts of the FCC and DOJ to protect the E-rate program from waste, fraud, and abuse, and to deter misconduct in the future."
The settlement funds will mostly go back into the E-Rate program.
| November 10, 2010; 4:46 PM ET
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