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Tax credit panel alerts law enforcement about possible crime

April 12, 2019 GMT

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s task force investigating tax incentives to businesses says it uncovered potentially criminal behavior and has alerted law enforcement.

The Democrat established the task force in January after a comptroller audit showed the Economic Development Authority failed in some cases to verify businesses met benchmarks to get incentives.

The task force announced the criminal referral in a statement Friday but included few details.

It says its investigation found evidence of “unregistered lobbying on behalf of special interests,” which affected the measures governing incentives.

The state attorney general’s office declined to comment.

The referral comes after the task force’s first meeting when a whistleblower said the firm where she worked got tax incentives by claiming it was considering leaving the state when it already decided to stay.