Dismissal of fraud case against Oracle CEO upheld by appeals court

18 November 2010

A decision to dismiss a fraud case against Oracle executives including chief executive officer Larry Ellison has been upheld by an appeals court.

Investors alleged that the technology provider deliberately misled investors over the state of its financial health before an earnings call in 2001, which led to Oracle’s share value dropping back in March 2001.

However, an appeal panel at a federal court upheld a decision made by a district judge last year to dismiss the case on the grounds that the plaintiffs had insufficient evidence.

Mr Ellison and a number of other senior executives at Oracle were named as defendants in the action.

The judges, who were quoted by Bloomberg, said: “Plaintiffs have not developed evidence sufficient to permit a reasonable jury to conclude that their losses were caused by the market’s reaction to defendants’ alleged fraud, as opposed to Oracle’s poor financial health generally, we affirm the district court’s order.”

Dorian Daley, Oracle’s general counsel, said that the technology vendor was pleased with the decision by the appeal court.

“Despite the millions of dollars that plaintiffs spent on this case, there was never any evidence to support their claims,” he explained.

Meanwhile, a legal expert in another case involving Oracle has advised that the technology firm should receive no more than $40.6 million in compensation to resolve an action against SAP AG.

The latter stands accused of software theft from Oracle, which it has accepted, and the two firms are in court to determine the amount of damages to be paid.

Stephen Clarke, an expert in damages working on behalf of SAP AG, calculated the figure.

By Jim Ottewill

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