News and Press Releases

U. S. Attorney's Office Collects Over $24 Million in Civil & Criminal Actions in FY 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2011

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that the Southern District of Illinois collected $23,036,885.18 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 related to criminal and civil actions. Of this amount, $19,999,166.83 was collected in criminal actions and $3,037,718.35 was collected in civil actions. Additionally, the office collected $1,346,325.00 in criminal and civil forfeitures.

Nationwide, the U.S. Attorneys’ offices collected $6.5 billion in criminal and civil actions during FY 2011, surpassing $6 billion for the second consecutive year. A portion of this amount, $1.3 billion, was collected in shared cases in which one or more U.S. Attorneys’ offices or department litigating divisions were also involved. The $6.5 billion represents more than three times the appropriated budget of the combined 94 United States Attorneys’ Offices for FY 2011.

“During this time of economic recovery, these collections are more important than ever,” said U.S. Attorney Wigginton. “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. We will continue to hold accountable those who seek to profit from their illegal activities. Through continued hard work, we will make crime pay the United States of America and the victims of crime in Southern Illinois.”

In one case, this past March, the Southern District of Illinois recovered $11,800,400.00 in settlement in the Honeywell case. This case involved the improper storage of hazardous materials. In another case, the Southern District of Illinois collected $1,133,813.61 from John Hardimon, a chiropractor, who was fraudulently billing insurance companies for services.

The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, along with the Department of Justice’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 $2.66 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 $3.83 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 $1.68 billion in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2011. 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 nationwide collection totals for the U.S. Attorneys’ offices for FY 2010 and FY 2011 combined is $13.18 billion, which represents nearly a 52% increase over the FY 2008 and FY 2009 combined total of $8.55 billion.

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.

 

 

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