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Sprint agrees to pay $330M to settle NY sales tax lawsuit

Sprint Corp. has agreed to pay $330 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the state of New York over unpaid sales taxes.

The state had sued Sprint and certain of its subsidiaries in 2012 alleging that for nearly a decade Sprint knowingly failed to collect and remit more than $100 million in state and local sales taxes owed on its flat-rate wireless calling plans sold to New Yorkers.

The $330 million settlement is the largest recovery by a single state in an action brought under a state false claims act, Attorney General Barbara Underwood and Acting Tax Commissioner Nonie Manion said in a Dec. 21 news release.

"Sprint knew exactly how New York sales tax law applied to its plans — yet for years the company flagrantly broke the law, cheating the state and its localities out of tax dollars that should have been invested in our communities," said Underwood.

New York's probe of Sprint began after a whistle-blower lawsuit was filed in 2011 in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. The whistle-blower will receive $62.7 million, according to the news release.

The settlement comes just days after Underwood secured a $174.2 million settlement with Charter Communications Inc. to resolve claims that Charter had failed to deliver the internet speeds or reliability it had promised subscribers.