New York Retailers Beware of Bill AO5231

New York Retailers Beware of Bill AO5231


If you are a retailer in the state of New York, be aware of New York State Assembly Bill AO5231. This bill was introduced February 7th, 2017 to amend NY General Business Law §349-F.  It would require all communications to a subject concerning an attempt to settle the civil penalty under General Obligations Law §11-105 to contain the following statement in large conspicuous type:

“This is an attempt to reach a civil settlement agreement resulting from a larceny that allegedly involves you.  Should you choose to agree to this settlement, you will be subject to the terms and conditions of such agreement, which are governed by Section 11-105 of NY General Obligations Law.  Should you refuse this agreement,  you are still subject to Section 11-105 of NY General Obligations Law,  which indicates that persons who commit larceny against the property of a mercantile establishment are civilly liable to such mercantile establishment in the amount of the retail price of the merchandise (only if  such merchandise is not recovered in saleable condition),  up to  $1,500,  and a penalty in the amount that is the greater of $75 or five times the retail price,  up to $500.  The mercantile establishment may file a civil lawsuit against you to pursue the recovery of these damages.  These civil penalties prescribed by law are entirely separate from any criminal penalties that may be brought against you.  Should you accept or refuse a civil settlement agreement, a mercantile establishment may still bring criminal charges against you in a court of law, unless such civil settlement agreement between you and the mercantile establishment precludes the mercantile establishment from pursuing criminal charges.”

You can access the bill here. 

This bill has been sent to the NY Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection for review. There are several opportunities this year for it to come before the committee. 

If this bill becomes law, you stand to lose valuable recovery funds which support your loss prevention programs. 

We urge you to contact any one of the following and tell them you oppose this bill: 

Retail Council of New York   – represents and lobbies for retailer member doing business in New York 

New York Assembly members   – find the Assembly member who represents your location(s) 

New York Consumer Affairs Committee – this committee is the first stop for bill AO 5231. 

The Zellman Group will be contacting these organizations as well.  Additionally, we will ask for time during hearings to speak in opposition of this bill.