Posts Tagged ‘Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act’
Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently announced the creation of a taxpayer-protection unit to target tax cheats, pension plan frauds, and corrupt government contractors. Schneiderman is hopeful the unit, with the help of whistleblowers, will recover hundreds of millions of dollars to help close the state’s budget gap.
In 2007, New York passed its False Claims Act [FCA]. The Act allows the state’s Attorney General, local governments and whistleblowers to bring actions against anyone that defrauds the government. If found liable, defendants must pay the government triple damages and civil penalties.
Recently, New York lawmakers enhanced the State’s FCA by adding the power to crack down on large-scale, multi-state corporate tax fraud schemes, expanding whistleblower protections and making it easier to prosecute corrupt subcontractors. The enhancement, titled Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA), was authored by Schneiderman himself. The revised FCA allows the State to bring false claims actions against those who commit tax fraud, including offshore cases.
Working with whistleblowers, the newly-formed Taxpayer Protection Unit will target multi-state corporate tax fraud schemes, corrupt contractors who over-bill taxpayers, and firms that rip off pension funds. The unit will be comprised of lawyers and investigators who will conduct civil investigations and criminal prosecutions against those who defraud the government.
“We cannot afford to lose any more money to companies and individuals who seek to defraud the State,” Schneiderman said. “Today’s announcement is a signal to anyone thinking of ripping off New York taxpayers: We will go after you with every tool we have, and you will pay the price for these crimes.”