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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More Crime - Office Depot Alleged to have Over Charged us, the US citizen, by 100 Million

I first caught this story over at the AnswerCo | Office Products and Printer Supplies Cross Reference Guide about how a disgruntled employee is claiming Office Depot had been overcharging the Detroit Public School system for supplies.

Of course, I figured it was just another angry, laid-off, red apron wearing, part time clerk, working the system for some extra attention or cash - I was wrong, way wrong.

From the Detroit News:

"...David Sherwin, a former senior account manager with Office Depot, alleges that the company manipulated pricing on products that government agencies bought through the U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance.

"Nationally, the overcharging amounts are somewhere in the range of $100 million annually to between 4,000 and 5,000 agencies around the country," Sherwin said..."

This accusation is not being leveled by some part-timer, he was a senior account manager, and according to reports, attempted time and time again to alert the authorities to O.D.'s activity. Finally, this whistle-blower, committed professional Hari Kari dispatching a terse communique to Office Depot CEO.

The story could end there in Detroit - but it doesn't.

Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Nebraska, Missouri and California all have cases, investigations or are expecting refunds from Office Depot.

California received 2.5 million back.

At issue, is Office Depot charging more than what was agreed to, on a national basis.

Apparently, this was easily done when government agencies and non-prof's ordered supplies via the Office Deport web site.

An Office Depot spokesman said the Detroit Public Schools has been buying supplies through the program since 2003.

"We are not aware of any complaints from Detroit Public Schools regarding overcharging," Jason Shockley an Office Depot spokesman said, denying the allegations.

Fact is scarier than fiction.



Apparently, the accuser threatened the CEO via email, while drunk. He has since gone through re-hab. I hate quitters.

Great read, here.

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