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May 24, 2018

Posted  May 24, 2018

New York announced a $4.3 million settlement with Oak Beverages Inc. for falsely inflating the number of empty bottle returns it received, resulting in a failure to turn over approximately $1,859,000 in unpaid deposits to New York State – a violation of New York’s Bottle Bill. Oak Beverages has admitted to the conduct and has agreed to pay damages and penalties pursuant to the New York State False Claims Act. New York’s Bottle Bill (otherwise known as the Returnable Container Act), administered by the Department of Taxation and Finance, encourages recycling by imposing a deposit system on the sale of beverage containers. Beverage distributors such as Oak Beverages must collect a $.05 deposit per container sold and keep the deposit proceeds in trust for the State. Distributors pay out deposits upon the return of empty containers and, on a quarterly basis, must turn over to the State 80% of any deposits collected but not paid out for returned containers together with a report of the amounts at issue. Distributors keep the remaining 20% of unpaid deposits. NY