Maryland U. S. Attorney’s Office Recovered over $126.7 Million Owed to the Government and $7.2 Million in Forfeited Assets In Fiscal Year 2011
Record Amount of Money Recovered in 2011
Baltimore, Maryland - The Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today that financial collections in civil and criminal cases handled by the United States Attorney’s Office in Maryland reached more than $126 million in 2011, an all-time high and more than twice the amount recovered in 2010. The U.S. Department of Justice keeps statistics on a fiscal year basis, closing the books each September 30.
Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein explained, “Financial recoveries obtained by the U.S. Attorney’s Office each year often exceed the office’s operating budget. Federal prosecutors pursue restitution from criminal defendants and file civil lawsuits to collect money owed to the government. Affirmative civil lawsuits against health care providers and contractors that made false claims against the government result in substantial recoveries for the taxpayers.”
According to 2011 statistics from the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland collected $115.5 million in civil actions and $11.2 million in criminal debts owed to the U.S. government and federal crime victims, for a total of $126,725,652.60.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is 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. Amounts collected from particular defendants as restitution are paid directly to the specific victims of their crimes. Criminal fines and felony assessments are paid to the Justice Department’s Crime Victims’ Fund, which distributes the funds for use by victim compensation and victim assistance programs run by state authorities.
The statistics also show that of the $115.5 million collected in civil actions in Maryland, more than $114 million was 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, $391,182.38 million in civil debts were collected on behalf of several federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Internal Revenue Service, and Small Business Administration.
In criminal litigation, of the total $11.2 million collected, more than $6 million was for criminal fines and special assessments, more than $583,000 for restitution to federal agencies, and more than $4.5 for restitution to victims other than the federal government.
In one case alone, the District of Maryland recovered $25 million in June 2011 from Novo Nordisk to resolve allegations that it engaged in off-label promotion of NovoSeven, a recombinant biologic drug that is FDA approved to treat hemophilia. The resolved allegations included that Novo Nordisk paid military physicians remuneration for questionable research to support and promote the use of NovoSeven in military and civilian trauma centers, and promoted NovoSeven for use in trauma-related hemorrhage, even in the face of mounting evidence of harm
The 2011 collection totals represent a 67% increase in criminal collections and 45% increase in civil collections over 2010. In 2010, the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office collected over $60 million. Of that amount, $7.6 million was collected in criminal matters and $52.7 million was collected in civil matters. The significant increase in civil collections resulted from several large affirmative civil enforcement cases, including large health care fraud cases.
Details about the affirmative civil enforcement program, including summaries of cases, are available on the internet at www.justice.gov/usao/md/Affirmative-Civil-Enforcement/index.html.
In addition to the $126.7 million in debts collected, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland recovered $7.2 million through asset forfeiture actions in 2011. Forfeited assets are deposited into either the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund or the Department of Treasury Forfeiture Fund and are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes. The District of Maryland collected $304,614 in administrative forfeitures; $2.4 million in civil forfeitures; and $4.5 million in criminal forfeitures. Of the total collected, $1.7 million was given back to the state and local law enforcement agencies that participated in cases resulting in forfeitures, as part of the Equitable Sharing program. The office also obtained judgments against criminal defendants for $26.1 million in additional forfeitures.
For more information, the Justice Department’s Annual Statistical Reports are available on the internet at www.justice.gov/usao/reading_room/foiamanuals.html.