GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $14 MILLION TO HELP PROSECUTORS TARGET TAX AND PUBLIC BENEFITS FRAUD
For Release: Immediate,
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 28 district attorneys' offices will receive more than $14.7 million in grants to enhance their investigation of state tax evasion and welfare fraud cases. Prosecutors in five counties will receive grants for the first time, while 23 others will receive funding to continue their work to crack down on individuals and businesses who fail to pay taxes or commit fraud.
"Our administration will not tolerate people who try to cheat their way out of tax obligations or defraud our welfare system," Governor Cuomo said. "People who evade taxes or commit welfare crimes are stealing from hard-working taxpayers. By providing this funding, we're helping to end this kind of abuse and hold individuals and businesses accountable."
District attorneys' offices will receive the grants through the state's Crimes Against Revenue Program, which is funded by the proceeds from investigations that result in tax revenues, fines and restitution being returned to the state. More than $165 million has been returned to the state since the program began in 2004, which is an 81 percent increase over the $91 million in grants provided to district attorneys' offices during the past decade.
This was the first time since the inception of CARP that all of the state's 62 district attorneys' offices could apply for grant funding. As a result of that expanded eligibility, district attorneys' offices in the following five counties will receive funding for the first time:
District attorneys' offices in the following counties already participate in the program and will receive additional funding to continue their CARP investigations and prosecutions:
New York: $5,700,000
The grants will fund personnel, including forensic accountants, investigators and assistant district attorneys, who work to build cases for prosecution. All taxes, such as sales, excise and income, are subject to these investigations, which can focus on individuals, corporations or industries and include complex financial fraud and tax evasion schemes by major criminal enterprises. The funding cycle for the grants aligns with the calendar year.
The state Division of Criminal Justice Services works with the Department of Taxation and Finance to administer the program. Tax and Finance serves as the program expert by providing technical assistance and helping to identify cases for investigation while the Division of Criminal Justice Services administers the grant funding.
Michael C. Green, executive deputy commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice Services, said, "Financial crime cases are often labor intensive and complex. Many district attorneys' offices, especially those in smaller counties, don't have the resources to employ individuals with specialized skills, such as forensic accounting, needed to investigate and prosecute these cases and hold those who are cheating the state accountable. This program is a great example of how a state investment in local law enforcement pays dividends for all New Yorkers."
Kenneth Adams, incoming Commissioner of Taxation and Finance, said, "This program advances New York's close work with local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute tax crimes. We will continue to partner with district attorneys on behalf of honest New Yorkers who are the ultimate victims of these crimes."
The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (www.criminaljustice.ny.gov) is a multi-function criminal justice support agency with a variety of responsibilities, including law enforcement training; collection and analysis of statewide crime data; maintenance of criminal history information and fingerprint files; administrative oversight of the state's DNA databank, in partnership with the New York State Police; funding and oversight of probation and community correction programs; administration of federal and state criminal justice funds; support of criminal justice-related agencies across the state; and administration of the state's Sex Offender Registry.
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (www.tax.ny.gov) annually processes 25 million tax returns and collects more than $90 billion in annual state and local revenue. More than 96 percent of the taxes collected are remitted voluntarily by taxpayers. The remaining 4 percent is a result of the agency's enforcement programs and its work with local, state and federal agencies.
Additional news available at www.governor.ny.gov
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