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u.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE COLLECTS $6.8 MILLION IN CRIMINAL AND CIVIL ACTIONS IN FY 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2014

SHREVEPORT/LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana collected $6,876,596.69 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2013.  Of this amount, $6,577,567.18 was collected in criminal actions and $299,029.51 was collected in civil actionsThe U.S. Attorney’s Office also worked with other offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect $508,781.75.

Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Louisiana collected $1,162,569 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2013.  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.

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.

Included in the FY 2013 criminal collections, the Western District of Louisiana recovered $2,000,000 in court-ordered restitution from Pelican Refining owed to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, to the Louisiana State Police, and to the Louisiana Environmental Trust Fund for violations of the Clean Air Act. A judgment was imposed against Pelican Refining on December 15, 2011, and the defendant agreed to an immediate payment of $2,000,000, and $2,000,000 per year for the next five years. Collected so far is $4,001,200 with a balance due of $8,010,970.19.

The U.S. Attorneys’ offices 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 of Justice Crime Victims’ Fund, which distributes the funds to state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.

“The Department’s enforcement actions help to not only ensure justice is served, but also deliver a valuable return to the taxpayer,” 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. Attorney’s Office is dedicated to protecting the public and recovering funds for the federal treasury and for victims of federal crime,” stated U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley.  “Victims depend on our office to collect restitution.  We will continue to make every effort to collect restitution on behalf of victims and hold accountable those who seek to profit from illegal activities.”

For further information, the U.S. Attorneys’ annual statistical reports can be found at www.justice.gov/usao/reading_room/foiamanuals.html

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