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Holtec International, a Florida-based company with a high-profile presence in Camden, has agreed to pay a $5 million penalty to the State of New Jersey and avoid prosecution over its applications for tax credits.
In an agreement announced Tuesday by the state Attorney General’s Office, the company also agreed to retain a state-approved independent reviewer to watch over the company’s future applications for state benefits. Holtec and Singh Real Estate Enterprises, a related company, agreed not to pursue further the $1 million in tax credits they applied for. The agreement is binding for three years.
“These agreements reinforce our commitment to protecting New Jersey’s taxpayers and ensuring fairness and integrity in our economic system by preventing companies from defrauding the State’s tax incentive programs,” said Attorney General Matt Platkin. “We are sending a clear message: no matter how big and powerful you are, if you lie to the State for financial gain, we will hold you accountable – period.”
According to the Attorney General’s Office, Holtec and Singh Real Estate Enterprises applied for the state Economic Development Authority’s Angel Investor Tax Credit Program after learning about it and after Holtect invested $12 million in Eos Energy Services in July 2018. Prosecutors accuse the company of drawing up new investment documents to show that Holtec and Singh each invested $6 million into Eos, hoping to double their tax credit to $1 million.
State tax credits to Holtec have been under a microscope for years because South Jersey Democratic power broker George Norcross III sits on the company’s board. A spokesman had no comment on the settlement, but stressed that Norcross does not have an ownership stake in Holtec, receives no compensation, and has no role in its operations.
Holtec, in a press release, said it agreed to the settlement “under threat of unfounded retaliatory criminal prosecution.”
“Avoiding protracted litigation through this resolution allows Holtec and its over 500 employees in New Jersey to continue their important work on the forefront of the green-energy revolution in America and beyond,” the release continued.
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