2015 - 2016 LEGISLATURE
January 11, 2016 - Introduced by Representatives Kerkman, Macco, Jacque, C.
Taylor, Berceau, R. Brooks, Danou, Duchow, Genrich, Horlacher,
Jorgensen, Kessler, Kitchens, Kolste, Kremer, Kulp, T. Larson, Neylon,
Novak, Petryk, Schraa, Spiros, Steffen, Subeck, Thiesfeldt, Tittl, Tranel
and Young, cosponsored by Senators Hansen,
Carpenter, Kapenga, C.
Larson, Marklein, Nass, Ringhand, Risser, Vinehout, Wanggaard and L.
Taylor. Referred to Committee on Jobs and the Economy.
1An Act to create
238.121 and 946.795 of the statutes; relating to: providing
2fraudulent information to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
3and providing a criminal penalty.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill establishes criminal penalties and other consequences for committing
fraud against the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Under
the bill, no one may make or cause to be made a false statement on an application
for a grant, loan, tax benefit, or other benefit or payment (benefit) from WEDC or
make or cause to be made a false statement of a material fact used to determine
eligibility for a benefit from WEDC.
Additionally, if a person knows of the occurrence of any event that would affect
the initial or continued eligibility for a benefit from WEDC, he or she may not conceal
or fail to disclose that event in order to secure a benefit from WEDC or to secure a
larger benefit than he or she is entitled or eligible to receive. Finally, no one may use
a benefit from WEDC that is intended for a specific use for any other use. A person
who does any of these things is guilty of a Class E felony and may be imprisoned for
up to 15 years, fined up to $50,000, or both.
Also, under the bill, if a person, or the person's authorized agent on behalf of
that person, intentionally commits such economic development benefits fraud, the
person, including all affiliates and successors, is ineligible for economic development
benefits from WEDC for seven years from the date on which the fraudulent act was
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
238.121 of the statutes is created to read:
2238.121 Fraud in obtaining economic development benefits. (1) 3Definitions.
In this section:
(a) "Economic development benefits" means a grant, loan, tax credit, or other 5
assistance under an economic development program administered by the 6
(b) "Economic development benefits fraud" means any violation under s. 8
In addition to any criminal penalty and any requirement to repay economic 10
development benefits, if a person or the person's authorized agent on behalf of that 11
person intentionally commits economic development benefits fraud, the person, 12
including all affiliates and successors, shall be ineligible for economic development 13
benefits for 7 years from the date on which the act of economic development benefits 14
fraud was committed.
946.795 of the statutes is created to read:
16946.795 Fraud against the Wisconsin Economic Development
In this section, "benefit" means an economic development benefit, 18
as defined in s. 238.121 (1) (a).
Whoever does any of the following is guilty of a Class E felony:
(a) Intentionally makes or causes to be made any false statement or 2
representation of a material fact in any application for a benefit from the Wisconsin 3
Economic Development Corporation.
(b) Intentionally makes or causes to be made any false statement or 5
representation of a material fact for use in determining eligibility for a benefit from 6
the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
(c) Having knowledge of the occurrence of any event affecting the initial or 8
continued eligibility for a benefit or the initial or continued eligibility for any such 9
benefit of any other person in whose behalf he or she has applied for or is receiving 10
such benefit, conceals or fails to disclose such event with an intent to fraudulently 11
secure such benefit either in a greater amount or quantity than is due or when no 12
such benefit is authorized.
(d) Having applied to receive a benefit from the Wisconsin Economic 14
Development Corporation for a specific use or purpose and having received it, 15
knowingly and willfully converts the benefit or any part thereof to a use or purpose 16
other than that specified by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.