FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
MONDAY, MARCH 22, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
SUNGARD BUSINESS SYSTEMS TO PAY U.S. $425,000
TO RESOLVE FALSE CLAIMS ACT ALLEGATIONS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - SunGard Business Systems will pay the United States $425,000 to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act in connection with a subcontract to deliver an automated record-keeping system to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama announced today.
SunGard, d/b/a Employment Benefit Systems (SunGard EBS), worked as a subcontractor to an unaffiliated corporation, Materials Communications & Computers, Inc. (MATCOM). The contract with MATCOM was intended to improve the thrift board's services to the participants and beneficiaries of the Thrift Savings Fund, which contains the retirement fund of millions of active and retired federal employees.
The settlement resolves allegations that SunGard EBS misled the United States by overstating the labor hours worked on the MATCOM subcontract by the company’s employees and independent contractors during portions of late-2001 and early-2002.
"Today’s settlement again demonstrates the United States' commitment to protecting the federal government from fraud and abuse," said Peter D. Keisler, Assistant Attorney General for the Department's Civil Division. "The federal government relies on the honesty of its contractors to provide accurate billing information."
The civil settlement includes the resolution of claims brought by Frank Roemer, a former SunGard EBS employee. Roemer, who filed his suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama in June 2002, will receive $85,000 of the total recovery as his statutory award. Under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, a private party can file an action on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of the settlement if the government takes over the case and reaches a monetary agreement with the defendant.
“Qui tam lawsuits are an important source of information for the United States, especially in cases involving over billing,” said U. S. Attorney Alice H. Martin. “Fraud and abuse will not go unaddressed by the Department of Justice.”
The case was handled by the Civil Division of the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Alabama.