AG says GCSD gets $1K from software overbilling settlement

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland School District will benefit from an $11 million settlement with a Long Island tech company announced yesterday by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Of the money won, $1,240.24 will go to the Guilderland district, according to Elizabeth DeBold, assistant press secretary to the attorney general.

More than $700,000 will go to localities across the state for improper overbilling by CA Inc. for computer software maintenance, she said.

“The localities don’t have to apply for the money; our office will simply issue them a check,” DeBold told The Enterprise yesterday evening. She said the check would be sent within the month.

The Guilderland School District could not be reached for comment before press time.

The settlement resolves claims that the Islandia, N.Y.-based company engaged in a scheme to overcharge government customers, including local school districts and law-enforcement agencies, for computer-software maintenance and servicing plans it sold from 2001 to 2009, according to a release from the attorney general’s office. 

CA, formerly known as Computer Associates, overcharged government customers when it renewed annual maintenance protection plans, the release said; it did this by charging customers for renewal plans immediately and before the former year’s plans had expired. After government customers renewed their annual service contract — sometimes several months before the prior year’s contract expired — the double billing began. 

Of the $11 million in settlement money, New York, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, Virginia, and the District of Columbia will recover more than $3 million. Each state will recoup money based on the number of renewal plan purchases it made from CA.

“The lawsuit resulting in this settlement was filed in 2006 by whistleblower Ann-Marie Shaw in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Central Islip) under the federal False Claims Act and the various states’ False Claims Acts,” the release said.

 Shaw had worked for CA and will receive a percentage of the governments’ recovery, including 20 percent of the New York recovery, or $141,759.01.

This agreement represents a new approach in which multiple states work together to bring about a collective settlement under their False Claims Acts outside the health care area, the release said; New York and Illinois led the coalition of states working with the federal government in obtaining this settlement from CA. 

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