U.S. Attorney's Report to the District
Issue No. 67
Civil Recoveries for Fiscal Year 2015
In fiscal year 2015, which ended September 30, this office collected over $121 million for U.S. taxpayers in civil, criminal and forfeiture actions. Putting aside last year’s total of over $9 billion, which resulted largely from the settlement of a single massive civil enforcement case against JPMorgan Chase, this year’s collection total is the largest for any year in the history of the Eastern District of California. That figure reflects actual amounts collected, not judgment amounts.
The office collected over $99.9 million in criminal and civil actions finalized in Fiscal Year 2015. Of this amount, over $5.5 million was collected in criminal actions, including both fines and restitution for victims, and over $94.4 million was collected in civil actions. Major recoveries in civil cases this year included a $44 million settlement with the Iron Mountain records management company and a $2 million settlement with Composite Engineering, Inc., both False Claims Act cases relating to pricing and costs in federal contracts. In two cases alleging that doctors improperly billed Medicare for drugs they administered that were not approved by the FDA, the doctors paid a total of $1.3 million. Sierra Pacific Industries paid $6 million in installment payments required under the terms of its settlement agreement in a large wildfire case that was resolved in 2012.
We also had the second highest total ever for civil and criminal asset forfeitures in this district, with over $21 million in deposits to the national asset forfeiture fund from the liquidation of assets forfeited in criminal and civil cases in this district. Significant forfeiture actions in fiscal 2015 included a criminal forfeiture of several million dollars in proceeds and assets by a major manufacturer of illegal synthetic drugs. He was also sentenced to prison. Nearly $4 million was forfeited in a civil forfeiture settlement with a tobacco products company that engaged in systemic excise tax evasion.
Every year, this office collects many more millions of dollars for American taxpayers than it costs to operate the office. We expect Fiscal Year 2016, which began last month, will be another good year for asset recoveries in the Eastern District of California. We are pursuing numerous cases of alleged false claims against the government, health care fraud, and wildfire damage to federal lands caused by negligent conduct. We are also seeking to obtain restitution for victims in major fraud cases.
Our success in collecting funds owed to the American taxpayer and to victims of crime is due to the dedicated work of the attorneys, paralegals, investigators and support staff in our affirmative civil and forfeiture teams. They will continue to vigorously pursue funds that rightfully belong to U.S. taxpayers, and to seek compensation for victims of federal crimes.
If you would like to communicate with our office, contact the main number in Sacramento, or submit a suggestion by clicking on the button below. Thank you.
United States Attorney
Benjamin B. Wagner