U.S. Attorney Announces Office Collected Over $34 Million
in Fiscal Year 2013
BOISE – United States Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced today that her office's Financial Litigation Unit collected $2,715,051.85 in criminal fines, assessments, and restitution, and $31,441,799.34 in civil debts for the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2013. In addition, the Asset Forfeiture Unit collected approximately $1.7 million from criminal proceeds. Also in this fiscal year, approximately $1 million has been shared with state and local law enforcement agencies via the equitable sharing program.
“The more than $34 million our staff collected through civil debts, asset forfeiture, fines, assessments and restitution is more than seven times the U.S. Attorney's Office's operational budget,” said Olson. “Our dedicated collection staff—attorneys, paralegals, analysts and fiscal agents—ensure that those who owe the federal government money as a result of litigation in this district or as a result of longtime debt, such as student loans, make appropriate payments. Our asset forfeiture staff likewise works efficiently to deprive criminals of the profits of their crimes. This year, they have all done outstanding work and served this office, taxpayers and the federal government well.”
The Financial Litigation Unit collects civil penalties for violations of regulations involving, among other things, controlled substances, environmental protection, and procurement fraud. It also collects civil debts for defaulted student loans and defaulted federally financed mortgages, working with debtors to arrange viable payment plans. During fiscal year 2013, the office collected over $31 million in civil debt; of that, $27 million was collected for EPA violations concerning release of hazardous substances; $3.5 million in settlement of allegations of procurement fraud; $150,000 in settlement of a lawsuit under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, a federal law that establishes rights and responsibilities for uniformed service members and their civilian employers; and $21,700 for civil penalties in three drug diversion cases.
From convicted criminals, the U.S. Attorney's Office collects fines, assessments, restitution, and asset forfeitures. The Financial Litigation Unit also pursues reimbursement from those who have fraudulently obtained payments from government contracts and programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. The federal government provides approximately 70% of Medicaid funds for the State of Idaho. The U.S. Attorney’s Office collected more than $1 million in fraudulently-obtained Medicare/Medicaid funds during the fiscal year.
Victims of crime receive funds collected in criminal restitution cases. Other criminal collections go into the Crime Victims Fund. From there, funds are distributed to the Idaho Crime Victims Compensation Program, the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance, and similar programs across the country. Asset forfeitures are distributed to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to help fight crime. Other recoveries go back to agency creditors. In fiscal year 2013, the U.S. Attorney's Office collected over $638,000 in federal and non-federal restitution, and criminal fines, $578,000 of which was distributed to victims of crime.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.