News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton Announces Collections of Nearly $9 Million Dollars in Civil and Criminal Actions in FY 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 2012

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that the Southern District of Illinois collected $8,802,089.05 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 related to criminal and civil actions. Of this amount, $2,248,737.31 was collected in criminal actions and $6,553,351.74 was collected in civil actions. Additionally, the office collected $1,394,686.00 in criminal and civil forfeitures.

Nationwide, United States Attorneys’ offices collected $13.1 billion in criminal and civil actions during FY 2012, more than doubling the $6.5 billion collected in FY 2011. A portion of this amount, $5.3 billion, was collected in shared cases in which one or more U.S. Attorneys’ offices or department litigating divisions were jointly involved. The $13.1 billion represents more than six times the appropriated budget of the combined 94 offices for FY 2012.

“During this time of economic recovery, these collections are more important than ever,” said United States Attorney Wigginton. “My 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. We will continue to make crime pay, not for criminals, but for the citizens of Southern Illinois.”

As an example, this past fiscal year, the Southern District of Illinois recovered $4,836,822 in civil settlements from several hospitals for alleged Stark Law violations. The alleged violations by the hospitals involved collecting rent from physicians on expired office space lease agreements or equipment lease agreements. The alleged violations also included payments made to physicians or physician groups for independent contractor agreements, services agreements, recruitment agreements, and employment agreements in which the agreements were expired, not in writing, and/or the parties failed to follow the terms of the written contract.

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. Statistics indicate that the total amount collected in criminal actions totaled $3.035 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 $10.12 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 $4.389 billion in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2012. 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 $13.16 billion collected nationwide by the U.S. Attorneys’ offices for FY 2012 nearly matches the $13.18 billion collected in FY 2010 and FY 2011 combined.

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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