U.S. Attorney's Office Collects over $6 Million in Civil and Criminal Actions for U.S. Taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2013
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – U.S. Attorney Pamela C. Marsh announced today that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida collected $6,255,150 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2013. Of this amount, $5,272,499 was collected in criminal actions and $982,650 was collected in civil actions.
In addition, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida worked closely with the Justice Department’s Civil Division to jointly collect an additional $3,405,336.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder also announced on Thursday that the Justice Department collected approximately $8.1 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013. The more than $8 billion in collections in FY 2013 represents over three times the appropriated $2.76 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices and the main litigating divisions of the Justice Department during that same period.
“The Department’s enforcement actions help to not only ensure justice is served, but also deliver a valuable return to the taxpayer,” said Attorney General Holder. “It is critical that Congress provide the resources necessary to match the Department’s mounting caseload. As these figures show, supporting our federal prosecutors is a sound investment.”
U.S. Attorney Marsh added: “These impressive numbers are the result of dedicated work by federal employees. Federal workers have taken a beating this year – from the budget battles resulting in hiring freezes and smaller workforces to sixteen days of furlough during the government shutdown. Our employees not only keep our communities safer by prosecuting criminals, they are returning millions of dollars to our nation’s bottom line. When looking around for government services to cut, it seems wise to avoid cutting those that are bringing back a profit.”
As one example of the collections work done in the Northern District of Florida, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Justice Department recovered $3.4 million in 2013, as part of a civil settlement against radiation oncology providers in Pensacola, Florida. More specifically, the government alleged that between 2007 and 2011, the healthcare providers regularly billed for radiation oncology services that were not supervised by a physician, as required by Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE, and that, in fact, these services were often performed while the defendant doctors were on vacation or were working at another radiation oncology clinic. The government also alleged that the defendants billed for other treatment services even when patients’ medical records provided no evidence that the services were rendered. The defendants also allegedly billed twice for the same services and misrepresented the level of a service provided to increase their reimbursement from the federal health care programs. The settlement of the case was the result of collaborative efforts by the U.S. Attorney’s Office with the Justice Department’s Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, and TRICARE Management Activity.
The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the nation, 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. 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 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.
Nationwide, 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, Small Business Administration, and Department of Education.
In addition to the sums discussed above, the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Florida, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $3,051,935.00 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2013. Forfeited assets deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.