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Government The Courts The Almighty Buck

Judge Approves $100 Million Dell Settlement 72

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
crimeandpunishment writes "It's official. Dell will pay the US government $100 million to settle fraud charges. CEO Michael Dell will personally pay a $4 million fine. A federal judge approved the settlement after Michael Dell assured him the company will deliver on the reforms it promised. Dell was accused of pumping up its profits over five years by improperly using payments from Intel, in order to meet Wall Street targets."
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Judge Approves $100 Million Dell Settlement

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  • by Pikoro (844299) <init AT init DOT sh> on Thursday October 14, 2010 @07:07AM (#33891964) Homepage Journal
    What I want to know is why is the government the one that always gets these settlements? Why not refund it back to the consumers or use it to subsidize the next year of computers that they ship out?

    I know it's a fine, but still, in the end, it's always the consumers that lose.
  • Re:Oh Dell (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 14, 2010 @07:09AM (#33891974)

    Many PC assemblers/distributors don't have much of a choice these days. Unless you're buying very, very high-end hardware, it's damn near impossible to get any decent-quality computer hardware that's manufactured in the US or Europe.

    Most consumer-grade computer hardware comes from Asia these days, and even then it's not from the more capable nations like Japan, South Korea or Taiwan.

    Even the largest assemblers/distributors are stuck buying what's essentially "dollar store" electronics. Of course, this ends up becoming very obviously when systems often don't even work out-of-the-box, or develop serious flaws soon afterwards, even when under minimal use.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 14, 2010 @07:15AM (#33892010)

    That is all? Man, it's good to be rich in the US. A regular person caught cooking the books would probably go to jail. Michael Dell gets to pay $4 mil and walk. No penalties whatsoever for his accomplices, either.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 14, 2010 @07:21AM (#33892044)

    I can only imagine that this would still be cheap for Dell at twice the price.

  • by schwit1 (797399) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @07:24AM (#33892060)

    Why no jail time? It was a multi-million dollar fraud to bilk consumers and stockholders out of millions. How is this any different than blatant theft.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 14, 2010 @07:35AM (#33892116)

    Why no jail time? It was a multi-million dollar fraud to bilk consumers and stockholders out of millions. How is this any different than blatant theft.

    Jail is for pot smokers, not corporate executives.

  • Shows how much bad thinking is left in Wall Street... when one of history’s most successful computer retailers thinks it’s better to artificially “pump up” its stock prices, rather than increasing its true overall value through better products and better customer service. And as Pikoro noted above, the settlement funds should go towards programs which provide or promote technology for the public good (i.e. pumping up Kno/iPad tablet availability for schools to replace textbooks, or funding a practical, decent, open school admin database), and not going directly into mysterious government coffers where people like defense contractors can get at it, which is doing nothing but *harming* the public good.
  • by hodet (620484) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @07:49AM (#33892196)
    Because it was only fraud, you make it sound like he downloaded a album off piratebay.
  • Personally? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hibernia (35746) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @07:58AM (#33892286) Homepage

    CEO Michael Dell will personally pay a $4 million fine

    So, does personally, really mean personally, or is he going to get reimbursed the $4 million as a "business expense"?

  • This bad thinking is endemic in our short-term society.

    For example, let's say you ran a business printing t-shirts. For an expense you can get a brand new shirt printer that will make your shirts look better than the competitions as well as cost less to print. The downside is that they are pricey enough where you would show a loss this quarter. Would you take this deal? You'd give up short-term profits on the books, but ultimately you'd get greater profits in the long run.

    There's this culture of growth growth growth. If you're not growing (and by growing, I mean making profit), you're failing - even if it's for a good reason. I honestly don't think it's a sustainable way to do business in the long term.

  • Re:Personally? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chowderbags (847952) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @08:58AM (#33893050)
    Michael Dell's net worth is 14 billion dollars. Fining him 4 million dollars isn't even a slap on the wrist, it's a joke. Fine him a few billion dollars and he might get a message.
  • by jefe7777 (411081) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @10:59AM (#33895462) Journal

    The culture of growth used to be also a culture of contraction, due to a natural cycle. There was balance. Periods of expansion and contraction. People were responsible, bought only what they needed, saved like a squirrel during the good times, in preparation for the lean times.

    Now this country is built on living the lifestyle you want NOW, by financing it on your future labor & productivity. And very few squirrel away during the good times, in preparation for the lean times.

    People can adjust to contractions. But not if they're loaded up with bills and debt. If you're renting a big apartment, you move to a small apartment. If your paid-for-car costs too much to drive, you take public transportation, ride a bike, walk, or buy a used scooter. If you're commute is 100 miles, you get a different job, you move closer to your existing job. If you lose your job, you use your rainy day fund.

    In the last several decades, contractions are increasingly viewed as absolutely negative, and at the first sign of a small contraction, central planners manipulate people so that the small contraction is prevented. This is done over and over, till the strategy fails, and nature gets her way eventually, and we see a huge contraction, that would test even the most responsible people, and for those who are severely leveraged out (just look at debt to income ratio), they have zero chance of adjusting. This is analogous to putting out every small fire in forests. Then one day, the whole thing goes up in a jaw dropping inferno. The natural cycle of expansion/contraction clears out bad businesses, bad debts, reminds people to be responsible on a regular basis with minimal blood on the street, and prevents expansion for expansion's sake. The side effects of a debt based society that embraces central planning, and the idea that we can expand forever, till the music stops, and people scramble for a chair ...it is unsustainable. We're watching it in action, right here right now. This ain't a Republican thing, this ain't a Democrat thing. It's an "us" thing. The leadership of both parties have grandiose plans that are not sustainable. And the sheeple follow along as if it's only one party or the other that is insane... when the reality is, both parties are insane, and they are perfect mirror of their constituents... ...sorry for my long post with the slide into politics ..it's a bad habit. But money, economics, politics, etc are all inseparable....

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday October 14, 2010 @01:49PM (#33898458) Journal

    You make 40k a year and you're "lower class?" OK I see five possibilities here:

    1. You're talking rupees while I'm thinking US dollars
    2. You're working towards being a mascot for the Republicans in the next presidential election a la Joe the Plumber, so once you're making over $250k a year you'll be "middle class"
    3. You have way too many kids and a stay-at-home wife
    4. You do more cocaine than Dr. Rockso
    5. You're so bad at managing money you make MC Hammer look good - maybe you own a boat or small aircraft.

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