9 Jun 2016 03:00pm

Oracle sued by shareholders days after whistleblower lawsuit

IT giant Oracle is being taken to court by its shareholders just days after the company was sued by a former senior finance manager

Filed by investor Grover Klarfeld on behalf of Oracle shareholders, the lawsuit alleges that the company put their investments in the firm at risk. Oracle's share price dropped 4% when claims that the firm inflated revenues from its cloud services emerged.

The lawsuit blames Oracle's top bosses, including co-founder Larry Ellison, and co-CEOs Mark Hurd and Safra Catz.

"Because of their positions of control and authority, the individual defendants were able to and did, directly or indirectly, control the content of the statements of Oracle," the lawsuit said.

"As officers and/or directors of a publicly-held company, the individual defendants had a duty to disseminate timely, accurate, and truthful information with respect to Oracle’s businesses, operations, future financial condition and future prospects."

Last week Svetlana Blackburn, who first accused the company of inflating its cloud revenues, filed a different lawsuit against the firm in a US District Court in San Francisco, eight months after being fired.

The former employee claimed her contract with Oracle "came to an abrupt end because she resisted, refused to engage in and threatened to blow the whistle on accounting practices she reasonably believed to be unlawful".

She said that her superiors instructed her to add millions of dollars in accruals to financial reports, with “no concrete or foreseeable billing to support the numbers”, which led to “improper and suspect accounting”.

The former employee said she was given a positive performance review in August 2015, but an investigation was launched the following month and she was fired in October last year.

Deborah Hellinger from Oracle said in a statement, “We are confident that all our cloud accounting is proper and correct.

“This former employee worked at Oracle for less than a year and did not work in the accounting group. She was terminated for poor performance and we intend to sue her for malicious prosecution.”

Jessica Fino


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