U. S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE COLLECTS $110.2 MILLION IN CIVIL & CRIMINAL ACTIONS IN FY 2011
Little Rock - Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced today that the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas collected $110,286,826 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 related to criminal and civil actions. Included in this amount is the $48,611,826 directly recouped by the Eastern District of Arkansas office and an additional $61,675,000 the Eastern District office assisted the Department of Justice Civil Division in collecting.
Of the District’s more than $48 million in direct collections, $1,388,653 was collected in criminal actions and $47,223,173 was collected in civil actions. The office also collected an additional $242,310 in forfeitures. The fiscal year runs October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011.
Many of the District’s collections resulted from civil settlements of False Claims Act (“FCA”) cases. The largest settlements were reached in lawsuits against various vendors who sold computer software and hardware to the United States government. The FCA claims against these companies included allegations of inflated pricing, bid rigging, and the payment of kickbacks. For example, in September 2011, Accenture LLP reached a $61,675,000 settlement agreement resolving claims against it stemming from its conduct in recommending certain hardware and software to the federal government for purchase. Allegations against Accenture included that it fraudulently inflated prices and rigged bids in connection with federal information technology contracts. A companion case against Oracle America was settled in January 2011 for $46 million. The allegations against Oracle America included that its subsidiary, Sun Microsystems, Inc., knowingly paid kickbacks to systems integrator companies in return for recommendations that federal agencies purchase the company’s products. To date, there have been settlements with seven companies involving the investigation of government technology vendors and the kickback scheme.
“During this time of economic recovery, governmental collections are more important than ever,” said U.S. Attorney Thyer. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is dedicated to not only protecting the public, but also recovering funds for the federal treasury and for victims of federal crime. In addition to the attorneys who litigate the cases, the dedicated people in our Financial Litigation Unit and Asset Forfeiture Unit work very hard every day to ensure that those who commit crimes pay their fines, restitution, and settlements as ordered by the courts. We will continue to hold accountable those who seek to profit from their illegal activities.”
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 in which one or more U.S. Attorneys’ offices or department litigating divisions were also involved. The $6.5 billion represents more than three times the combined FY 2011 appropriated budgets of the 94 United States Attorney’s offices. 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.
Christopher R. Thyer
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