GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $860,000 IN GRANTS TO HELP PROSECUTORS FIGHT TAX, PUBLIC BENEFITS FRAUD
Six district attorneys' offices get first-time grants, join six others receiving additional funding through the State's Crimes Against Revenue Program
Albany, NY (August 19, 2014)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State will expand its Crimes Against Revenue Program, providing an additional $860,700 to 12 county district attorneys’ offices to enhance their investigation and prosecution of State tax evasion and welfare fraud cases. Six district attorneys’ offices will receive grants for the first time while six others currently receiving grants will receive additional funding.
“It is unacceptable for taxpayers to be robbed of revenue by those who misuse our tax and public benefits system,” Governor Cuomo said. “These grants are a proven technique to obtain the revenues that the State is entitled to, while also holding those who deliberately fail to pay their State tax obligations or commit benefit fraud accountable. I’m pleased to expand the Program so that more district attorneys’ offices can have resources to help in this fight.”
The Crimes Against Revenue Program is a self-sustaining program that is funded by the proceeds from investigations that result in tax revenues, fines and restitution being returned to the State. Approximately $160 million has been returned to the State since the program began 10 years ago – a 74 percent increase over the $90 million in grants provided to district attorneys’ offices.
District attorneys’ offices in the following counties will receive funding for the first time:
The following county district attorneys’ offices already participate in the program and will receive additional funding:
District attorneys’ offices in 40 counties that weren’t participating in the program were eligible to apply for new funding, as were 16 currently funded offices that received less than $500,000. The State Department of Taxation and Finance works with the State Division of Criminal Justice Services to administer the program. The State Department of Taxation and Finance serves as the program expert by providing technical assistance and helping to identify cases for investigation while the State Division of Criminal Justice Services administers the grant funding.
The grants 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.
With these new grants, 28 district attorneys’ offices and the New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office now participate in the Crimes Against Revenue Program, receiving a total of more than $15.4 million in funding. The other district attorneys’ offices that currently participate in the Crimes Against Revenue Program are those in the Bronx and Broome, Clinton, Erie, Kings, Monroe, Nassau, New York, Niagara, Onondaga, Queens, St. Lawrence, Suffolk, Tompkins, Warren and Westchester Counties.
Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Thomas H. Mattox said, “The Crimes Against Revenue Program is an outstanding example of State and local law enforcement agencies cooperating on economic crimes for the benefit of all New Yorkers. Thanks to investigations and prosecutions by the district attorneys participating in the Crimes Against Revenue Program, the amount we recoup on behalf of New Yorkers far exceeds the program’s costs.”
State Division of Criminal Justice Services Executive Deputy Commissioner Michael C. Green said, “One of the State Division of Criminal Justice Services’ key missions is to provide funding, training and technical assistance to police and prosecutors so they can more effectively serve their communities. The investigation of financial crimes can be challenging and labor intensive and the Crimes Against Revenue Program provides district attorneys’ offices with additional resources so they can devote the time and attention necessary to build these cases and hold offenders who are in effect stealing from New York taxpayers accountable.”
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (www.tax.ny.gov) annually processes 25 million tax returns and collects more than $86 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.
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.