Oracle settling with ex-worker over alleged fiddling of cloud accounts

The employee said she was terminated from her job for refusing to comply

Oracle has informed a federal court that it is settling a lawsuit in which a former employee had charged that she had been terminated from her job for refusing to go along with accounting principles that she did not consider lawful.

In a joint submission Wednesday to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, lawyers for Oracle and the former employee Svetlana Blackburn asked for the vacation of a case management conference scheduled for Thursday, while submitting a notice of settlement to notify the court “that the lawsuit has been settled in principle, and to request thirty (30) days in which to file a dismissal.”

The lawsuit had drawn interest amid concern that companies could be dressing up their cloud revenue in a highly competitive environment.

Gartner, for example, warned in December 2015, that “assessing vendor cloud revenue claims has become more challenging, with many vendors' IT-related businesses being complicated and nuanced.”

In her lawsuit filed last year, Blackburn, formerly a senior finance manager in Oracle’s cloud business, alleged that senior management was trying to fit "square data into round holes" to boost the financial reports of the cloud services business. Her superiors are alleged to have ordered her “to add millions of dollars in accruals to financial reports, with no concrete or foreseeable billing to support the numbers."

The former employee also claimed to have warned her supervisor that she would blow the whistle if instructed to continue in the same manner, but her employment was terminated on Oct. 15 even though she had received a positive performance review in August of the same year.

Oracle has countered that Blackburn made revenue forecasting errors for the first quarter of fiscal 2016, covering June 1, 2015 through Aug. 31, 2015, and “she refused to accept responsibility for them.”

The company’s managers lost confidence as a result of the errors in her ability to "effectively perform her job as a manager and generate accurate forecasts."

Blackburn never said that she would "blow the whistle," or make any statements that any accruals violated applicable securities laws or regulations or amounted to shareholder fraud, the company said in a filing.

The former employee, who sued Oracle for punitive damages, claimed protection under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that protects employees from discrimination after they make disclosures under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which is legislation that aims to prevent corporate accounting fraud and errors.

Both sides said in a filing earlier this month that a settlement could not be reached after mediation. Oracle had said in June last year that it intended to sue Blackburn for “malicious prosecution."

Oracle and Blackburn’s lawyers did not immediately comment on the proposed settlement or its terms.

District Court Judge Edward M. Chen has ruled that an order of dismissal with prejudice should be filed within 30 days. A dismissal with prejudice would bar Blackburn from filing another lawsuit on the same claims.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?