Oklahoma school district settles fraud lawsuit
YUKON, Okla. (AP) — Public school officials in suburban Oklahoma City have approved a private financial settlement with a food distribution company accused of fraudulently overcharging the district by more than $700,000.
Terms of the settlement between Yukon Public Schools and the food distributor, Sysco Oklahoma, weren’t revealed in the federal court lawsuit, The Oklahoman reported.
Attorneys said a nondisclosure agreement approved by the school district and the food distributor prohibits them from discussing that information.
The newspaper has submitted an open records request to the school district for a copy of the settlement check. The district hasn’t yet fulfilled the request.
Allegations of overcharges by Sysco were first brought to the attention of school administrators more than four years ago by Cost Defender, a company that audits and identifies overbillings on a contingency fee basis, court documents show.
The settlement resolves the lawsuit filed in September 2016 that accused Sysco Oklahoma of defrauding the district by overbilling for grocery products. School officials alleged that overcharges went undetected from 2008 through 2012.
Despite agreeing to the settlement, Sysco Oklahoma denies wrongdoing.
“Recently, Sysco decided solely for business reasons to settle ongoing litigation with the Yukon School District,” said Camilla Zuckero, company communications director. “Sysco made this decision to avoid costly and prolonged litigation. Sysco took the allegations and claims being made very seriously, and we dispute them in their entirety.”
Sysco Oklahoma is a regional branch of a multinational food distribution company that earns $55.4 billion in annual sales.
Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com