Holtec International Settles for $5 Million in Tax Credit Dispute, Accepts Independent Oversight
Holtec International, a prominent energy technology firm, and Singh Real Estate Enterprises have agreed to pay a $5 million penalty and submit to external oversight for future state dealings. This resolution comes after a detailed investigation into their applications for tax credits, potentially averting criminal charges.
NEW JERSEY - Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) have announced a consequential agreement with Holtec International and Singh Real Estate Enterprises. Following a comprehensive criminal investigation into their tax credit applications, these entities will pay a substantial $5 million penalty and comply with strict oversight measures.
Holtec International, a Camden-based company specializing in decommissioning nuclear power sites, alongside Singh Real Estate Enterprises, faced scrutiny over their applications to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) for tax credits from the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program. They collectively applied for $1 million in credits in November 2018.
Under the terms of the binding agreement, lasting up to three years, both companies will forgo pursuing the disputed tax credits and engage an independent reviewer for future state benefit applications. The agreement stipulates that non-compliance will lead to criminal prosecution.
“These agreements reinforce our commitment to protecting New Jersey’s taxpayers and ensuring fairness and integrity in our economic system by preventing companies from defrauding the State’s tax incentive programs,” said Attorney General Platkin. “Today, we are sending a clear message: no matter how big and powerful you are, if you lie to the State for financial gain, we will hold you accountable – period.”
The companies, during the agreement's term, must use a state-approved independent reviewer in all dealings involving new awards, tax credits, loans, or other benefits from state departments or agencies. This includes the EDA. Any future benefits sought by the companies will be subject to detailed compliance reports by the reviewer to the state.
In return, the state agrees not to pursue criminal charges for the 2018 tax credit application misconduct, provided the terms are met. However, this does not preclude investigations or prosecutions for unrelated matters involving current or former directors, officers, employees, or agents of Holtec or Singh Real Estate Enterprises.
“This multimillion-dollar settlement serves as notice to other companies and individuals that attempt to exploit the State’s tax incentive program will be investigated and addressed,” said OPIA Executive Director Thomas Eicher.
The case details Holtec’s $12 million investment in Eos Energy Storage in July 2018, followed by attempts to manipulate tax credit documentation to maximize returns. The EDA, relying on these submissions, initially approved $500,000 tax credits for each company’s purported investment in Eos.
The investigation was led by OPIA Assistant Attorney General Anthony Picione and a team of dedicated legal professionals and detectives. This settlement marks a significant step in New Jersey's ongoing efforts to ensure transparency and accountability in corporate-state interactions.