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        The United States Attorney's Office represents the United States, its agencies, departments, and their officers in federal and state courts. This litigation falls into one of three areas: Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE), Civil Defensive, and Financial Litigation.

Affirmative Civil Enforcement

The Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE) Unit Recovers damages for fraud and other misconduct against United States' agencies;

Imposes civil penalties for violations of the nation's health, safety and economic welfare laws; and

Uses the Fraud Injunction Statute to enjoin on-going mail, wire or bank frauds and freeze ill-gotten gains derived from those frauds.

The primary civil weapon against fraud is the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733. Enacted in 1863, the Act allows the United States to collect triple damages and civil penalties of $5,500 to $11,000 per violation from persons who submit fraudulent claims for federal monies. This includes health care fraud, defense procurement fraud, workers' compensation fraud, and a variety of other frauds against the federal government.

The False Claims Act also allows citizens who have knowledge of fraud against the government to file a "qui tam" or "whistle blower" lawsuit in the name of the government. 31 U.S.C. § 3730. These complaints by individuals must first be filed under seal to allow the United States time to decide whether to join in the suit. The complaint must be served both on the United States Attorney General and the United States Attorney's Office. The whistle blower is also required to disclose to the government all material evidence supporting the allegations.

In addition to fraud cases, the ACE Unit also handles civil environmental cases, civil rights actions, cases involving HUD equity skimming, and cases involving violations of the DEA Controlled Substance statute.

If you have information regarding fraud, you may contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation, www.fbi.gov, the Inspector General for the agency affected, www.oig.hhs.gov, or contact the United States Attorney's Office at 859-233-2661.

Civil Defensive Litigation

The United States Attorney’s Office represents the United States in cases involving claims against the United States, its agencies, officers and employees. Typical cases include personal injuries, medical malpractice, employment discrimination, immigration matters, challenges to federal agency actions, social security claims, constitutional claims against federal officers and employees, and other constitutional claims.

Additionally, the Office also represents federal agencies and their employees in cases involving third party subpoenas. Virtually every federal agency has regulations governing the issuance of subpoenas to the agency and its employees. Third parties subpoenaing these agencies must go through the procedures established by the agency's regulations. Other litigation includes certain "affirmative" claims, such as federal condemnation of property, IRS show cause hearings and claims for reimbursement under the Medical Care Recovery Act.

Financial Litigation

The Financial Litigation Unit collects debts owed to the United States, its agencies, and victims of federal crimes. Federal law authorizes the use of foreclosures, garnishments, attachments, and other remedies.

Typical cases include:

Fines, special assessments, restitution, costs, and penalties owed by criminal defendants

Defaults on government loans (i.e. education, home improvement mortgage, Small Business Administration)

Over-payments made by the United States under various government programs( i.e. Social Security, veterans' benefits, Medicare)

Debts owed by to the United States by debtors in bankruptcy (i.e. taxes owed to the IRS)

Monies owed to the United States as a result of successful civil fraud prosecutions (such as health care fraud and procurement fraud)

Environmental fines and penalties

Payment for most federal criminal cases should be made payable to the Clerk of the Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Payments may be mailed to:

Clerk of the Court
101 Barr St., Suite 239
P.O. Box 3074
Lexington, Kentucky 40588-3074
(859) 514-2219

Payment for most civil debts should be made payable to the U.S. Department of Justice, and delivered to:

U.S. Attorney's Office
for the Eastern District of Kentucky
260 West Vine St., Suite 300
Lexington, Kentucky 40507

Payments may be made by certified check, personal check, money order, or credit card.

If you have questions about payment, please call the Collections Unit, (859) 685-4864.

Robin Gwinn, Chief, Civil Division, US Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky

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