by Melissa Klein Aguilar Texarkana, Ark. — Big Four firm KPMG and its former consulting unit, BearingPoint, agreed to separate settlements of $17 million each to settle a class action lawsuit related to the billing of travel-related expenses for their clients.

The agreement resolves KPMG’s and BearingPoint’s portion of a class action lawsuit originally filed in Miller County, Ark., in October 2001, which alleged that the two firms, along with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young and the U.S. arm of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, overcharged clients for costs and expenses paid to third-party travel vendors. They allegedly billed clients for the full face amount of costs, while at the same time receiving back-end rebates from vendors through confidential contracts.

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