US Firm Fined US$3.1m for Illegally Outsourcing to India


Charles Tobin, sole owner of Focused Technologies Imaging Services, and Julie Benware, former co-owner, agreed to pay US$3.1 million as penalty for illegally outsourcing government-funded work to a subcontractor based in India.

Tobin and Benware agreed to pay the penalty and fees under an agreement with New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman after they admitted violating New York federal laws by illegaly outsourcing to India in 2008 and 2009.

Authorities said the Indian company, which was unaware it had got the work illegally, fully and voluntarily cooperated with the investigation.

The agreement arises from a $3.45 million contract in 2008-09 between the New York State Industries for the Disabled (NYSID) and the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to digitise and index approximately 22 million fingerprint cards into a searchable database.

The cards contained critical personal data including Social Security numbers, date of birth and basic physical characteristics. Focused paid the Indian company just over $82,000 for this indexing between October 2008 and September 2009.

Following an investigation by Inspector General Leahy Scott and Attorney General Schneiderman, detailed in a report the Inspector General released today, Focused Technologies Imaging Services, LLC, of Menands, and its co-founders Charles Tobin and Julie Benware, will pay a total of $3.1 million in penalties and fees to the State under an agreement with the Attorney General for violating the State’s False Claims Act. The agreement settles all allegations of wrongdoing.

“This Capital Region company entered into a covert and unauthorized outsourcing that swelled its profits while disregarding its commitment to employ individuals with disabilities, as required by its contract with the State. In doing so, the company circumvented virtually all contract provisions governing the handling of sensitive records to which they were entrusted,” said Inspector General Leahy Scott.

“I will use all the resources at my disposal to relentlessly pursue State contractors who violate the law, and I thank Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and his office for their partnership in bringing this matter to justice.” –