DOJ Takes Part in Whistleblower Lawsuit Against SymantecAug 13, 2014
The Department of Justice has decided to take part in a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that software giant Symantec misrepresented discounts it gave to commercial customers and subsequently overcharged the federal and some state government, The Washington Post reports.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Symantec entered into a contract with the General Services Administration in 2007. The terms of the contact stated that the software company would sell products directly to federal purchases and extend any commercial discounts to government purchasers. The lawsuit alleges that Symantec violated the terms of the contract by misrepresenting discounts it gave to commercial customers, causing the federal government and some states to be overcharged by tens of millions of dollars. The whistleblower suit was filed in 2012 by a current employee.
“When doing business with the government, honesty and transparency are essential,” said a federal prosecutor in a statement. “We are committed to ensuring that contractors who do business with the federal government provide honest services, prices and products.”
Symantec denies the allegations.
Whistleblowers who file qui tam lawsuits are entitled to a portion of the money recovered if the case is successful. Legally, companies are not allowed to engage in retaliatory action against employees who blow the whistle, including firing, demoting, transferring to an undesired location and other punitive actions.