While Sun paid so-called influencer fees to systems integrators or resellers, the company "denies that it made any payments to improperly influence a government customer's selection of a Sun product," Sun's lawyers wrote in their Tuesday response.
Sun's lawyers disputed allegations that the company did not disclose its payments to systems integrators and resellers to the U.S. government. "Not only were Sun's reseller and rebate programs well know to the government, but the government actually encouraged Sun to pay its resellers rebates, discounts and other remuneration ... to promote price competition and better pricing to the U.S. government," Sun's lawyers wrote.
Earlier in August, Judge William Wilson Jr. in Arkansas denied Sun's motion to dismiss the case.
Accenture, Cisco and Sun have all had settlement talks in the case, said Packard, the lawyer for Rille and Roberts. "Accenture may very well go to trial, and we have had teams gathering a great deal of evidence for that," he said.
Under the U.S. False Claims Act, whistleblowers can collect a percentage -- usually between 15 and 30 percent -- of the proceeds the U.S. government recovers in lawsuits alleging fraudulent payments of government funds.
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantusG. Grant's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.