U. S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE COLLECTS $4,773,628 IN CIVIL & CRIMINAL ACTIONS IN FY 2012
Little Rock - U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Thyer announced today that the Eastern District of Arkansas collected $4,773,628 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 related to criminal and civil actions. Of this amount, $1,759,160 was collected in criminal actions and $3,014,468 was collected in civil actions. The office collected $1,128,785 in criminal and civil forfeitures.
Nationwide, the U.S. Attorneys’ offices collected $13.1 billion in criminal and civil actions during FY 2012, more than doubling the $6.5 billion collected in FY 2011. A portion of this amount, $5.3 billion, was collected in shared cases in which one or more U.S. Attorneys’ offices or department litigating divisions were also involved. The $13.1 billion represents more than six times the appropriated budget of the combined 94 offices for FY 2012.
“During this time of economic recovery, these collections are more important than ever,” said Thyer. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is dedicated to protecting the public and recovering funds for the federal treasury and for victims of federal crime. Those who seek to profit from their illegal activities will be held accountable.”
During this fiscal year, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas recovered $1,711,894 from Blackstone Medical, Inc., a manufacturer of instruments and devices used in spinal surgery. Blackstone agreed to pay the United States to settle allegations that Blackstone paid illegal kickbacks to two spinal surgeons in Arkansas in order to induce them to use Blackstone products as part of a the settlement to resolve the allegations brought in a qui tam lawsuit that had been filed by John Thomas, a whistleblower.
In criminal cases, a final payment of $200,460 was collected in a tax fraud case. Cecil Dale, Jr. was sentenced to pay restitution of $276,921 for failure to collect and/or pay over employment taxes. Additionally, Dr. Kelly Dean Shrum paid $204,194.49 restitution in a health care fraud case in which patients had received a contraceptive device from Dr. Shrum which was not approved by the Food and Drug Administration while charging Arkansas Medicaid Program for a device which was approved.
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 $3.035 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 $10.12 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 $4.389 billion in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2012. 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 $13.16 billion collected nationwide by the U.S. Attorneys’ offices for FY 2012 nearly matches the $13.18 billion collected in FY 2010 and FY 2011 combined.
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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