States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|January 13, 2011||
U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE COLLECTS MORE THAN $24 MILLION IN FY2010
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office collected more than $24 million as a result of criminal prosecutions, civil lawsuits and asset forfeiture actions during the 2010 fiscal year.
The money collected by the United States Attorney’s Office resulted from more than $7.6 million collected in criminal actions, more than $11 million collected in civil actions, and approximately $5.5 million coming from criminal and civil asset forfeiture actions.
“The citizens of Connecticut should be proud of the tireless advocacy by AUSAs on behalf of victims of crime, and the vigorous collections efforts by the Office’s Financial Litigation Unit,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “Thanks to their work, millions of dollars are returned to victims and the U.S. Treasury every year.”
U.S. Attorney Fein noted that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut’s budget for Fiscal Year 2010 was approximately $14.7 million.
The Office’s Financial Litigation Unit (“FLU”) litigates debt collection issues and enforces collection of criminal and civil debts owed to the United States or to victims of federal crime. The FLU enforces collection of civil debts on behalf of federal agencies in litigation that most often involves federal loan programs, civil penalties assessed by federal agencies and civil fraud actions litigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In FY2010, more than $11 million was collected from Connecticut debtors in satisfaction of their federal civil debts. Civil recoveries include False Claims Act recoveries for health care fraud ($2,473,625), defense procurement and other program fraud ($2,548,000), civil penalty and debt collection matters such as bankruptcy and environmental violations ($5,121,846) and other civil debts such as student loans and foreclosures ($986,691).
In criminal cases, those who are convicted of federal crimes are often subject to criminal asset forfeiture proceedings, whereby the government seizes property that was involved in or the result of criminal behavior. Also, at sentencing, the court often imposes on a defendant a criminal fine and/or orders restitution to victims. In almost every criminal case, a mandatory special assessment is imposed upon each individual or corporate defendant at the time of sentencing, as well.
During Fiscal Year 2010, the FLU tracked and enforced payment of more than $7.6 million from federal criminal offenders who were prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Of the $7.6 million collected, $6.5 million was distributed directly to the offenders’ victims through court-ordered restitution payment plans. The remaining $1.1 million was deposited into the Crime Victims Fund.
There are 93 U.S. Attorney Offices located throughout the United States and its Territories. Each U.S. Attorney’s Office is responsible for enforcing and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the United States and criminal restitution owed to federal crime victims. The Department of Justice has reported that financial collections by the entire Department in criminal and civil actions in FY2010 reached an all-time high due to the efforts of U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the nation. The Offices contributed to the collection of $6.68 billion during the government’s fiscal year, which ended on September 30. This amount is the most successful collection year ever by the U.S. Attorney’s offices.
Statistics from the Department of Justice indicate that the total amount collected in criminal actions in FY2010 totaled $2.84 billion, which came from 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 $3.84 billion was collected by U.S. Attorney’s Offices in 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.
Finally, the U.S. Attorney’s Offices contributed to the collection of $1.8 billion in asset forfeiture actions in FY2010. Forfeited assets are deposited into either the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund or the Department of Treasury Forfeiture Fund and are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut is charged with enforcing federal criminal laws in Connecticut, and with representing the federal government in civil litigation in the District. The District is composed of more than 60 Assistant United States Attorneys and approximately 55 staff members at offices in New Haven, Hartford and Bridgeport.
Click here for more information about the Crime Victims Fund.
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