April 7, 2010 / 3:30 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Learning Tree to pay $4.5 mln for billing problems

* Learning Tree pre-billed, billed for classes never given

WASHINGTON, April 7 (Reuters) - Learning Tree International Inc LTRE.O will pay $4.5 million to settle allegations that it improperly billed the government for information technology classes or billed for classes that it never gave, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday.

Learning Tree has contracts with the government's General Services Administration to offer training to federal workers but under the contract may not bill before classes are taken.

"The settlement resolves allegations that Learning Tree knowingly invoiced federal agencies in advance," the Justice Department said.

"The government further alleged that ... Learning Tree retained federal funds that the company received in connection with unused courses without providing a refund or credit," the department said.

Learning Tree was trading at $14.25 early Wednesday, down 1.72 percent from Tuesday's close.

An official from Learning Tree had no immediate comment.

Reporting by Diane Bartz, editing by Dave Zimmerman

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