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A business has a Government contract where the Government pays for all lease expenses. This business wants to enter into a contract with a software developer to develop software, but to structure the contract as a lease with a dollar-buyout or similar arrangements where they would own the software in the end. They would thus create the lease as more of a legal fiction than a real lease.

Assuming this is not the type of lease the Government would normally knowingly reimburse, does the software developer have Halachic issues agreeing to such an arrangement? Some possibilities are theft from the government and Lifney Eiver Lo Titein Michshol (not placing a stumbling block or assisting someone else in sinning)?

Please assume for the sake of this question that, for whatever reason, the Government would never hold the software developer liable in any case (so there is no concern of arrest, Chillul Hashem, etc.).

  • Is it stealing or a legal loophole? – CashCow Jun 3 '15 at 13:55
  • I don't know the particulars - it's their business. – Ani Yodea Jun 3 '15 at 13:56
  • @Yishai, Is it safe to make the assumption in your last sentence? That the developer won't be held liable by the government? – Ani Yodea Jun 3 '15 at 14:35
  • @AniYodea, In the real world, no. But for the sake of a Mi Yodea question, sure. In fact, I would think that the Government would not at all take kindly to this, but I am not a lawyer. – Yishai Jun 3 '15 at 14:37

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