Houston school district pays $850,000 to settle E-Rate program False Claims Act allegations

by Ben Vernia | March 8th, 2010

On March 8, the Department of Justice announced that the Houston Independent School District had paid $850,000 to resolve False Claims Act allegations arising from its applications for funds from the E-Rate program, which provides schools with technology equipment and Internet connectivity using fees collected from telephone users. According to the Department’s press release:

The United States contended that the Houston Independent School District provided false information to the E-Rate program and otherwise violated the program’s requirements by engaging in non-competitive bidding practices for E-Rate contracts. The United States further alleged that school district officials received gratuities from technology vendors, including trips, meals and loans.

The Department wrote that the case arose from an ongoing investigation of the E-Rate program in Texas.

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