Southern District of Georgia’s U. S. Attorney’s Office Collects Over $71 Million in Civil, Criminal and Asset Forfeiture Cases in Fiscal Year 2013
SAVANNAH, GA - U. S. Attorney Edward Tarver announced today that the Southern District of Georgia collected over $71 million in civil, criminal and asset forfeiture actions in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. The Office collected $31,621,385.97 in criminal and civil actions in FY 2013. Of this amount, $29,153,117.82 was collected in criminal actions and $2,468,268.15 was collected in civil actions. Additionally, the Office, working with partner federal agencies, collected $40,435,520.24 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2013.
U. S. Attorney Tarver stated, “The amount of money collected in criminal, civil and asset forfeiture actions by the men and women of the United States Attorney’s Office in FY 2013 is by far the largest collection year in the Office’s history. The amounts collected dwarf the Office’s yearly budget. In other words, this Office earns its keep and then some.”
Additionally, Attorney General Eric Holder 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 nearly three times the appropriated $2.76 billion budget for the 94 U. S. Attorney’s Offices and the main litigating divisions in that same period.
“The Department’s enforcement actions help to not only ensure justice is served, but also deliver a valuable return to the American people,” 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.”
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 United States 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.
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.
Forfeited assets are deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund and are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.