U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE COLLECTS OVER $8.2 MILLION
FROM CIVIL & CRIMINAL ACTIONS AND FORFEITURES IN FY 2012
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles, Jr. announced today that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Michigan collected $8,237,150 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 from civil and criminal actions and forfeitures. The office obtained judgments, fines, penalties, and restitution in various federal criminal and civil actions totaling $4,855,468 paid by defendants in FY 2012. Of this amount, $1,782,454 came from criminal actions and $3,073,014 came from civil actions. In addition, the office collected $3,381,682 in criminal, civil, and administrative forfeitures.
Nationwide, the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices collected $13.1 billion in criminal and civil actions during FY 2012, which was October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012. This amount is more than double the $6.5 billion collected in FY 2011. 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 and budget concerns, these collections are more important than ever,” said U.S. Attorney Miles. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan is effectively 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.”
Among the more significant recoveries in FY 2012, the U.S. Attorney’s Office collected $2,250,000 in treble civil damages, recovered $350,000 in criminal restitution, and forfeited over $150,000 in seized funds in a parallel criminal and civil health care fraud case against Chyawan Bansil, P.T., Ph.D. Dr. Bansil pled guilty to one count of health care fraud and one count of money laundering in response to the government’s allegations that, among other things, Dr. Bansil billed Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for expensive electrodiagnostic testing that he did not perform.
The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, along with the U.S. 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 $3.035 billion in restitution, criminal fines, and felony assessments. The law requires defendants to pay restitution to victims of certain federal crimes who 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. In FY 2012, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Michigan distributed $1,377,509 in forfeited funds to various state and local law enforcement agencies through the Department of Justice’s equitable sharing program.
The $13.16 billion collected nationwide by the U.S. Attorneys’ offices in FY 2012 nearly matches the $13.18 billion collected in FY 2010 and FY 2011 combined.
The Western District of Michigan, with a population of 3.4 million, is unique not only because it is geographically one of the nation's largest federal law enforcement districts, but also because it is broken into two peninsulas. Altogether, the Western District extends more than 700 miles from the southern extremity to the northwest border. To be exact, the Western District of Michigan covers 35,229 square miles and encompasses 49 counties, 34 of them in the Lower Peninsula. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for this district consists of 78 employees, including 36 attorneys, located in offices in Grand Rapids, Lansing and Marquette..