NEW YORK and CHICAGO, Jan. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- NYC whistleblower attorney Timothy J. McInnis, and Chicago attorneys Stephen B. Diamond and Tony Kim, jointly announced a $2.5 million settlement against Call One, Inc., a Chicago-based provider of telecommunications services. The settlement resolves allegations contained in a qui tam whistleblower complaint that had been filed under seal in September 2018 in the Circuit Court of Cook County Illinois and ordered unsealed on January 25, 2021, by Circuit Judge Jerry A. Esrig.
The complaint, brought under Illinois' False Claims Act by two former employees, alleged that Call One failed to collect and remit state taxes for telecommunications services. Specifically, the ex-employees alleged that Call One failed to pay telecommunications excise taxes, simplified municipal telecommunications taxes, and telecommunications infrastructure maintenance fees on contracts with some of its sales tax-exempt customers, such as municipalities.
The State of Illinois, through the Office of the Attorney General, joined in the lawsuit, according to a notice of intervention filed on January 22, 2021. The Attorney General's office also negotiated the terms of the settlement, noted Attorney McInnis.
Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, which became effective on January 21, 2021, Call One was to pay the State $2.5 million by January 22, 2021. Further, according to its terms, the two former employees collectively are to receive 15% of the settlement amount shortly after it is paid to the State and they can petition the court for up to a total of 25% within 21 days. The former employees can also seek reimbursement for reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses in a separate petition on or before that date, stated Attorney Diamond.
All three attorneys for the whistleblowers express their appreciation to the State, and its attorneys and representatives in the Office of the Attorney General and Department of Revenue, for the decision to intervene in the case and see it through to a successful resolution.
The case is captioned, State of Illinois ex rel. John Havis and Robert Kintz v. Call One, Inc., Index No. 2018 L 010085, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, County Department, Law Division.
For additional information, please contact Timothy J. McInnis, Esq., of McInnis Law, at (212) 292-4573 or Tony Kim, Esq., of Kim & Burns LLP, at (312) 995-7146.
SOURCE McInnis Law