New York To Slap COVID Fraudsters With Stiffer Penalties
Any individual, business, or organization that commits a case of COVID-19 fraud in the state of New York will now face stiffer penalties and New York Governor Kathy Hochul has a stern warning for anyone who thinks they'll get away with fraud.
Hochul said, "We are sending a clear message: New York has zero tolerance for fraud, especially in our most critical times of need."
Governor Kathy Hochul signed two laws this week both of which aim to fight fraudsters that have been taking advantage of state emergencies. Frauds such as unemployment fraud caused the state to lose at least $11 billion dollars in taxpayer money in 2020 alone.
Hochul made it clear that New York will not put up with fraudsters and that the two new laws will protect and incentivize New Yorkers, “to report fraud and assist with recovery efforts while cracking down on bad actors and their deceitful attempts to turn a profit during emergencies.”
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The first law allows the attorney general the right to “sue fraudsters for up to three times the amount stolen or $15,000, whichever is greater.”
The second law allows individual New Yorkers “to file civil lawsuits on behalf of the government to help recover defrauded money” and receive a portion of the funds.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said, “My office has taken significant action to stop scams, combat price gouging of essential goods, and recover millions of dollars for consumers who were misled.”
James also noted, “This new law will strengthen our ability to go after those trying to take advantage of New Yorkers.”