I like it.
There’s a particular perversity when a group of businesses form a company that appears to have as one of it’s primary purposes the evasion of a government fee or tax that has been set forth.
Whether such an act is unlawful is for a court to determine, but the evasion of taxes via various devices often is, and it appears that someone has finally decided to file a “Qui Tam” action on behalf of California in this regard.
For those who aren’t aware, “Qui Tam” actions are allowed when a private citizen detects fraud against a government organization. The cute part is that they allow the moving party (the private citizen) to receive part of the recovery that the government is entitled to for the fraud perpetrated against it. Since many frauds against the government are for enormous amounts of money, when one of these suits is won it is a monstrous windfall for the party that brings the suit.
The “public good” argument for allowing these suits is that the government “can’t possibly prosecute all actions on it’s own”, and therefore having the public be enlisted in, and a part of, the enforcement of recovery for these frauds is a public good (since it is a strong deterrent against these sorts of ripoffs.)
OK. I’ll go along with that.
It will be interesting to watch this complaint progress, assuming it does. Of course since the real parties behind MERS are the nation’s largest banking interests, what will also be interesting is the sort of attempts that are made to prevent this suit from going to trial.