News and Press Releases

U. S. Attorney’s Office Collects $10.7 Million in Civil and Criminal Actions in FY 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2011

BIRMINGHAM – U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance announced today that the Northern District of Alabama collected $10,709,087 in Fiscal Year 2011 related to criminal and civil actions.

Of this amount, $3,790,002 was collected in criminal actions and $4,411,230 was collected in civil actions. A portion of those receipts, $2,507,855, was collected in shared cases in which one or more U.S. Attorney’s offices or Justice Department litigating divisions were also involved. Additionally, the office collected $11,276,408 in criminal and civil forfeitures.

Nationwide, the U.S. Attorneys’ offices collected $6.5 billion in criminal and civil actions during FY 2011, surpassing $6 billion for the second consecutive year. A portion of this amount, $1.3 billion, was collected in shared cases. The $6.5 billion represents more than three times the appropriated budget of the combined 94 offices for the budget year ending Sept. 30.

“In addition to prosecuting criminals, the U.S. Attorney’s Office plays an important role in returning funds to the federal treasury,” Vance said. “We collect substantial amounts of fines and penalties in criminal cases and judgments in civil cases. Our work to remove ill-gotten gains from the hands of wrongdoers makes a positive contribution to our nation’s financial health during this time of economic recovery,” she said. “The people in my office work hard to protect the public by recovering funds and denying criminals any profit from their crimes.”

Included in the Northern District’s collections this year was $738,829 in restitution from defendants in the Jefferson County sewer corruption cases. This year’s payments by Bobby Rast, Daniel Rast and Roland Pugh Construction are part of the $29,879,887 that the office has collected over several years in fines and restitution from the 17 people and five companies convicted in the federal investigation of Jefferson County’s sewer system construction and repair project.

Another $3,577,721 of the office’s collections this year resulted from the settlement of a civil action against McWane Inc., a national cast iron pipe manufacturer headquartered in Birmingham. McWane agreed to pay $4 million to resolve environmental violations at manufacturing facilities in 14 states. The company also agreed to perform seven environmental projects valued at $9.1 million.

The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, along with the department’s litigating divisions, are responsible for enforcing and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the U.S. and criminal debts owed to federal crime victims. Statistics indicate that the total amount collected in criminal actions totaled $2.66 billion in restitution, criminal fines, and felony assessments. The law requires defendants to pay restitution to victims of certain federal crimes who have suffered a physical injury or financial loss. While restitution is paid directly to the victim, criminal fines and felony assessments are paid to the department’s Crime Victims’ Fund, which distributes the funds to state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.

The statistics also indicate that $3.83 billion was collected by the U.S. Attorneys’ offices in individually and jointly handled civil actions. The largest civil collections were from affirmative civil enforcement cases, in which the United States recovered government money lost to fraud or other misconduct or collected fines imposed on individuals and/or corporations for violations of federal health, safety, civil rights or environmental laws. In addition, civil debts were collected on behalf of several federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Internal Revenue Service, and Small Business Administration.

Additionally, the U.S. Attorneys’ offices, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $1.68 billion in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2011. Forfeited assets are deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund and Department of Treasury Forfeiture Fund and are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.

The nationwide collection totals for the U.S. Attorneys’ offices for FY 2010 and FY 2011 combined is $13.18 billion, which represents nearly a 52% increase over the FY 2008 and FY 2009 combined total of $8.55 billion.

For further information, the United States Attorneys’ Annual Statistical Reports can be found on the internet at http://www.justice.gov/usao/reading_room/foiamanuals.html.

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