In a rare case of enforcement of U.S. lobbying laws, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia has filed a civil suit against a small New York consulting firm for failing to file multiple lobbying disclosure reports and failing to have its lobbyists file contribution reports.
The lawsuit filed on Friday against Biassi Business Services Inc. of West Hempstead, N.Y., appears to be an unusual choice since there is no documentation of actual lobbying done or contributions made. However, it is clear the company registered, but it is not so clear how many reports had not been filed. The website of the Clerk of the House lists numerous lobbying reports filed since 2005, but none for 2012 or 2013.
Even less clear is why the company is being held responsible for the filing of contribution reports from its lobbyists.
The lawsuit involves 129 reports, and at $200,000 per violation, that could be a maximum penalty of just over $25 million.
In a phone interview, Mensah Biassi stated they did no lobbying and made no contributions. He indicated they would probably have to file any missing reports to end the matter.
UPDATE 6/12: Biassi Business Services Inc. today filed five lobbying reports covering 2012 and the first quarter of 2013.