City Attorney Mike Feuer has accused accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers of fraud, claiming the company lied about its capabilities in order to secure a $70 million contract with the Department of Water and Power.
The complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleges Pricewaterhouse’s faulty handling of the department’s billing system led to thousands of customers being charged incorrectly, resulting in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
Feuer claims the firm lied about having a 100 percent success rate with its billing system and mischaracterizing its work with the Cleveland Water Department.
“If, as we allege here, contractors misrepresent their qualifications and fail to live up to their obligations, we will hold them accountable,” said Feuer in a statement released Friday.
Through its attorney, Pricewaterhouse strongly denied the charges, saying the city was trying to shift blame away from its own poor management.
“The announced litigation is meritless,” said Daniel J. Thomasch, a partner at the New York office of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, in a statement released after the lawsuit was filed. “LADWP acknowledged in writing last year that PwC fulfilled each one of its contractual obligations and paid PwC in full. We will defend PwC’s excellent work and this case vigorously.”