§ 13A09. Penalties.
(a) Notice of alleged noncompliance.--
(1) The commission shall issue a notice of alleged noncompliance to a person that has failed to register or report as required by this chapter.
(1.1) In the case of a principal or lobbying firm, the notice shall be delivered to the authorized representative, employee or agent.
(2) The notice shall state:
(i) the nature of the alleged noncompliance; and
(ii) the administrative and criminal penalties for:
(A) failure to register;
(B) failure to file; or
(C) filing a report which contains a false statement or which is incomplete.
(3) The notice shall advise that if the person disagrees with the alleged noncompliance, the person may appeal the determination before the commission.
(4) The notice shall set forth the deadline and manner in which to request a hearing.
(5) If the person does not request a hearing in accordance with the notice, the alleged noncompliance shall be deemed to constitute noncompliance with this chapter, and the commission shall impose a penalty in accordance with subsection (b)(3) or (4).
(1) If a hearing is requested, the commission shall determine at the hearing:
(i) whether the recipient of the notice is required to register or report under this chapter;
(ii) whether the recipient of the notice is an attorney at law; and
(iii) whether the failure to register or report was negligent or intentional.
(2) If the commission finds that failure to register or report was intentional, it shall refer the matter to the Attorney General and, if the person is an attorney at law, to the board.
(3) If the commission finds that failure to register or report was negligent, it shall determine the amount of the administrative penalty to be imposed.
(4) A hearing under this subsection shall be conducted by the commission in accordance with sections 1107(14) (relating to powers and duties of commission) and 1108(e) (relating to investigations by commission).
(5) Appeals of the commission’s determination shall be in accordance with section 1108(i). If a court of competent jurisdiction determines that any complaint or investigation which involves an attorney at law is under the jurisdiction of the board, the matter shall be referred by the court to the board to be investigated, considered and resolved in a manner consistent with the Rules of Professional Conduct.
(c) Negligent failure to register or report.--
(1) Negligent failure to register or report as required by this chapter is punishable by an administrative penalty not exceeding the following:
(i) For the first ten late days, $50 for each late day.
(ii) For each late day after the first 10 late days through
the 20th late day, $100 for each late day.
(iii) For each late day after the first 20 late days, $200
for each late day.
(2) After a hearing under subsection (b), the commission may, upon the majority vote of all of its members, levy an administrative penalty. The total amount of the administrative penalty levied shall not be limited by any other provision of law.
(3) The commission shall notify the board of any lobbyist or principal who is an attorney at law against whom a civil penalty is imposed.
(4) The commission has standing to apply to the Commonwealth Court to seek enforcement of an order imposing an administrative penalty under this section.
(d) Failure to comply after notice.--A person that fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter, after notice of noncompliance and after a hearing if one is requested, may be prohibited from lobbying for economic consideration for up to five years. The prohibition shall be imposed under subsection (e)(4).
(e) Intentional violations.--
(1) A person that intentionally fails to register or report as required by this chapter commits a misdemeanor of the second degree.
(2) A registrant who files a report under this chapter with knowledge that the report contains a false statement or is incomplete commits a misdemeanor of the second degree.
(3) Except as set forth in paragraph (1) or (2), a person that intentionally violates this chapter commits a misdemeanor of the third degree. In addition to any other penalties imposed under this chapter, the court may impose a fine not to exceed $25,000 against a principal who is found guilty under this paragraph.
(4) In addition to any criminal penalties imposed under this chapter, the commission may prohibit a person from lobbying for economic consideration for up to five years for conduct which constitutes an offense under this subsection. Criminal prosecution or conviction is not required for the imposition of the prohibition authorized by this paragraph. The commission shall not impose the prohibition under this paragraph unless the person has been afforded the opportunity for a hearing, which shall be conducted by the commission in accordance with sections 1107(14) and 1108(e).
(f) Attorneys.--Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as restricting the board’s authority to discipline an attorney at law who is acting as a lobbyist or principal.
(g) Affirmative defense.--Any of the following is an affirmative defense to an action brought under Chapter 11 (relating to ethics standards and financial disclosure) or this chapter:
(1) The respondent or defendant relied on advice and opinions of the commission.
(2) The respondent or defendant relied on notice under section 13A05(b)(3)(iv) (relating to reporting).
(3) The respondent or defendant did not receive notice under section 13A05(b)(3)(iv).
(h) Criminal enforcement.--If the department or commission has reason to believe an intentional violation of this chapter has been committed, it shall refer all relevant documents and other information to the Office of Attorney General and, if the lobbyist or principal is an attorney at law, to the board. The Attorney General shall have exclusive jurisdiction to prosecute criminal violations under this chapter.
(i) Attorney General.--In addition to the authority conferred upon the Attorney General under the act of October 15, 1980 (P.L.950, No.164), known as the Commonwealth Attorneys Act, the Attorney General has the authority to investigate and prosecute a violation of this chapter.