Latest Travelscape News
Dec 3, 2020
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Clark Hill PLC, an international law firm, has taken legal action against the whistleblowers, alleging that some of the country’s largest online travel agencies have collectively withheld hundreds of millions of dollars from tax payments in the state of Nevada over several years. The lawsuit names Orbitz, Travelscape, Travelocity, Expedia, Priceline, TripAdvisor and other companies. The qui tam lawsuit, filed in the Eighth Clark County Judicial District Court, is a type of lawsuit in which whistleblowers are rewarded for success where the government recovers money lost due to false allegations or other types of fraud. The case was brought by Las Vegans Sig Rogich and Mark Fierro. Their group has been working on background information and costume preparation for several years. As stated in the lawsuit, online travel agencies contract with hotels the right to purchase rooms at discounted wholesale prices. Online travel agencies, according to the complaint, then sell the rooms to the public at higher retail prices plus additional fees, charging the full amount to customers’ credit cards. Fierro Communications gave the following example in a press release Wednesday: An online travel agency can get a room in a hotel for $ 150 and sell it to a customer for $ 200. Although the law requires businesses to pay taxes on a total amount of $ 200, they instead passed taxes based on the lower wholesale price of $ 150, according to the complaint. According to the complaint, funds improperly misappropriated from state tax offices amount to hundreds of millions of dollars. If you take nearly 150,000 hotel rooms at 90% annual occupancy and multiply taxes over several years, the amount of income owed to Nevadans is staggering, according to the complaint. “There is no way online travel agencies could have done this by mistake,” said Rogich, president of the Rogich Communications Group. “They intentionally withheld this money that rightfully belongs to Nevada taxpayers. This is a common pattern in which they attempt to avoid paying the combined Nevada transitional accommodation tax, which is required by Nevada law. “The bad news is that this money should have gone to Nevada schools, law enforcement agencies, infrastructure and a wide range of other needs of Nevada citizens,” said Fierro, president of Fierro. Communications, Inc. “The good news is that when we win this deal, and we are confident we will win, it will rank among the biggest deals Nevadans have seen since the historic 1998 settlement with the industry. Tobacco. According to Fierro Communications, the entities most affected by the loss of revenue are: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Clark County School District Transport District Nevada Department of Tourism Nevada State General Fund Clark County General Fund School account The Clark County School District Bond Fund for school construction Since online travel agencies do not choose the city in the what their clients visit, the lawsuit will not affect the volume of trips to Las Vegas. .