AG Announces $24 Million Settlement & Dismissal Of Qui Tam Lawsuit In Pay-to-Play Case

AG News:
 
SANTA FE  Attorney General Hector Balderas announced June 7 that the Office of the Attorney General (“OAG”) secured two court rulings June 6 in the Vanderbilt Capital Advisers and Austin Capital Management pay-to-play cases.
 
District Judge Louis McDonald approved the State’s proposed settlement and ordered the dismissal of Qui Tam Plaintiff Frank Foy’s lawsuits.
 
“These rulings will allow this litigation to  continue moving forward to a resolution that is in the best interests of New Mexico taxpayers,” Balderas said. “More importantly, $24.5 million will be returned from Wall Street interests to the State of New Mexico, to the benefit of our Permanent Fund and retired educators.”
 
Through the State’s investigation, it was able to establish claims against Vanderbilt and others and seek alternate remedies under FATA (Fraud against Taxpayers Act) from the qui tam plaintiffs’ actions. The Court found the State has a rational basis to pursue its own enforcement plan, which is also a rational basis for dismissal of the plaintiffs’ qui tam action.
 
The Court also found there was no conflict of interest in the State’s hiring of the Day Pitney law firm, as had been alleged by the qui tam plaintiffs. The State’s motion to dismiss the qui tam actions was granted. The OAG is allowed to continue to pursue its enforcement plan and seek alternate remedies against the parties. Assistant Attorney General Sean Cunniff represents the State of New Mexico through the OAG.
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