Attorney General James Announces $5.8 Million Multistate Settlement With LexisNexis 

LexisNexis Resold Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Crash Reports Without Paying
New York State Agencies Their Required Share

NEW YORK – Attorney General Letitia James today announced a multistate settlement with LexisNexis Risk Solutions and several of its affiliates (LexisNexis) for defrauding state law enforcement agencies out of more than $2.8 million. LexisNexis deliberately failed to pay those agencies agreed-upon fees — $900,000 in New York alone — for the resale of car crash reports. New York’s share of the settlement is approximately $1.7 million, or 30 percent of the total $5.8 million multistate settlement.

“LexisNexis failed to live up to the terms of its agreements and defrauded New York State agencies out of nearly a million dollars,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “My office will continue to fight every day to guarantee businesses that partner with our state live up to their agreements and to ensure New York gets every penny it’s owed.”

Law enforcement agencies generate reports of automobile crashes, which are purchased by individuals and by insurance companies for use in claim adjustment. Companies, like LexisNexis, enter into agreements with agencies to obtain crash reports and resell them to customers, agreeing to pay a fee to those agencies every time a report is sold.

LexisNexis defrauded law enforcement agencies in New York and other states by paying law enforcement agencies for only the first crash report sold, and not for each subsequent report resold, as their contracts required. In particular, the investigation found that from June 2012 through May 2019, LexisNexis fulfilled customer crash report requests by searching its database and — if it had previously sold the requested report to another customer — would resell the report without paying the contracted agency its agreed-upon fee for the new sale. LexisNexis would then omit the new sale from reports of sales it was contractually obliged to provide to the agencies. As a result, LexisNexis generated monthly reports for the agencies that falsely understated total crash report sales, and deprived New York State law enforcement agencies of sales fees they were entitled to receive.

As part of the settlement, LexisNexis will pay the fees it previously evaded and will discontinue its fraudulent resale practices. 

The investigation began after New York State, and the additional parties involved in the settlement, received information from a former LexisNexis employee who came forward as a whistleblower and filed a report under the New York False Claims Act and the acts of the other jurisdictions involved. The New York False Claims Act allows private persons to file civil actions on behalf of the government, and to share in any recovery.

The New York State Attorney General’s Office conducted this investigation in coordination with the States of Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Tennessee, and the City Solicitor of Baltimore.

The Attorney General’s investigation of LexisNexis was led by Assistant Attorney General Laura Jereski of the Taxpayer Protection Bureau, which is overseen by Bureau Chief Thomas Teige Carroll and Deputy Bureau Chief Scott J. Spiegelman. The Taxpayer Protection Bureau is a unit of the Economic Justice Division, which is headed by Chief Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Christopher D’Angelo.

 

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