Office Depot pays $68.5 Million to settle False Claims case

Office Depot will pay $68.5 million for allegedly overcharging various cities and towns for office supplies.

More than 1,000 cities, counties, school districts and other government entities in California including Los Angeles and Santa Clara County will share in a $68.5 million settlement paid by Office Depot for allegedly overcharging them for office supplies. The lawsuit alleged that Office Depot failed to give most of its California government customers the lowest price it was offering any government customer as required under its contracts. Other pricing misconduct also was alleged.

Participants in the contract are guaranteed to receive Office Depot’s best available prices for government purchasers, according to Sherwin’s complaint. But Office Depot allegedly gave Los Angeles, Santa Clara and the other California entities that are part of the settlement a lower discount rate than other government entities were given.

The law rewards whistleblowers 15 percent to 33 percent of the amount recovered when the entity intervenes in the case and 25 percent to 50 percent when the entity doesn’t join.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers