ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says in his first major initiative that he’ll crack down on fraud by government contractors and seek triple damages.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller with comment from Eric Schneiderman

Schneiderman says Thursday that by policing the billions of dollars spent annually with contractors, he hopes to recover millions of dollars from those that are unscrupulous and bill too much.

The focus of the new Taxpayer Protection Unit includes public pension fund con artists and large-scale tax cheats.

He also plans to bolster the agency’s Medicaid anti-fraud efforts by assigning more prosecutors.

Under the state’s False Claims Act, defendants can be ordered to pay the government triple damages and civil penalties.

The office has more than 600 lawyers. The new was created by reassigning existing staff.

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