Two correctional facilities to benefit from state settlement

OBSERVER Staff Report

Two area correctional facilities are receiving some funding following a settlement with a large medical waste disposal company.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced Tuesday a $2.4 million settlement with Stericycle, Inc. for improperly overcharging nearly 1,000 New York government entities, including police and fire departments, rescue squads, schools, jails, and hospitals all over the state.

Since 2003, Stericycle implemented a plan to charge automated price increases without giving any notice to these customers and in violation of the contract terms.

Among those receiving funds in the settlement are the Collins Correctional Facility, Collins, which will receive $6,310 and the Gowanda Correctional Facility, Gowanda which will receive $6,132.

“Stericycle improperly profited by overcharging New York taxpayers,” said Schneiderman. “In these times of harsh budget cuts to education, public health, and public safety, local governments and agencies need every available dollar and we will hold accountable corporations like Stericycle that use cynical schemes to rip off New York taxpayers.”

The case was brought under and investigated pursuant to the New York False Claims Act. As a state senator, Schneiderman authored amendments to strengthen the False Claims Act. These enhancements, known as the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, allow the state to collect triple damages and between $6,000 and $12,000 per violation from corporations or people who defraud the government, or violate their obligations to pay government entities.