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Oracle settles whistleblower suit for $8m

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Oracle is to pay $8m to settle a troublesome whistleblower lawsuit, which saw the company accused of fraudulently billing government agencies in the US for training between 1997 and 2003.

The suit was sparked by a then employee of the company, Robert Makheja. Makheja claimed he was relieved of his job when he challenged the way Oracle's training division, Oracle University, handled the billing in government contracts. He was North American vice president for sales at the division at the time.

His complaint prompted federal prosecutors to investigate, and they too filed claims against the company. The alleged misdeeds included billing and collecting fees in advance of training courses taking place, and not complying with regulations governing how government should be billed for expenses, such as travel costs.

The settlement states that Oracle denies all the allegations and that its conduct was perfectly legal, and within the bounds of its contract terms.

Makheja will receive $1.58m of the $8m settlement total. Neither he nor Oracle has commented on the settlement. ®

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