Office Depot, inc., including its affiliates and/or agents, has engaged in deception, fraud, false promise, misrepresentation, unfair practices, and/or the concealment, suppression, or omission of material facts in connection with the sale of office products to state and local governmental entities and nonprofit or charitable entities, and such was done in conspiratorial concert with U.S. Communities its affiliates and/or agents thereof.
ALLEGATIONS: Office Depot in concert with U.S. Communities (agents and employees), made false statements to its local and state government customers by manipulating the U.S. Communities purchasing contract/ Los Angeles County contract in five (5) ways causing the agencies throughout the United States to purchase office products at a higher price than that initially agreed upon by contract and that these higher prices were disguised and hidden from the customers.
The five (5) fraudulent schemes are:
1. Deceptively switching customers from Option 1 to Option 2
2. Deceptively manipulating WEB based pricing through trickery and deception, resulting in fraudulent overcharges
3. Deceptively and randomly changing prices on items other than on January 1st and July 1st
4. Failure to give customers the best price, as required by the best price guarantee and Most Favored Public Entity Clause
5. Entering false cost data in the Office Depot ordering system to inflate the 15% GP (Gross Profit) floor, resulting in higher prices to customers
Office Depot in conspiratorial concert with U.S. Communities, has engaged in wide-spread fraud and trickery resulting in fraudulently overcharging state and local government agencies over $100 million on the national contract for office and classroom supplies valued at $700 million annually.
Office Depot has paid kickbacks to U.S. Communites amounting to over $20 million in return for the organizations endorsement of the national office and classroom supply contract. Three ex-Office Depot executives are now senior program directors at U.S. Communities, where they directly assist Office Depot by covering-up overcharging allegations.
Current state investigations: Attorney Generals of Florida, California, Texas, Missouri, Ohio and Colorado.
Current federal investigations: Department of Justice, Department of Defense, Department of Education, General Services Administration (GSA), and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Fort Myers, Florida