News and Press Releases

U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE COLLECTS OVER $8.1 MILLION FROM
CIVIL & CRIMINAL ACTIONS AND FORFEITURES IN FY 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2014

           GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr. announced today that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan collected $5,545,164.37 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2013. Of this amount, $3,193,153.56 was collected as fines, penalties, and restitution in criminal actions and $2,352,010.81 was collected in civil actions. Working with partner agencies and divisions, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan also collected $2,560,915 from civil, criminal, and administrative forfeiture actions in FY 2013.

           Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $529,531.18 in cases pursued jointly with these offices. Of this amount, $29,531.18 was collected in criminal actions and $500,000 was collected in civil actions.

           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.

           “The department’s enforcement actions help to not only ensure justice is served, but also deliver a valuable return to the American people,” 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 for the Western District of Michigan is actively working to make sure crime does not pay,” said U.S. Attorney Miles. “We are using all legal tools available to protect the public.”

           Among the more significant recoveries in FY 2013, the U.S. Attorney’s Office collected over $1,000,000 in civil damages and criminal restitution in a parallel civil and criminal healthcare fraud case against Babubhai Rathod. Rathod, a disgraced physical therapist, pled guilty to one count of conspiring to violate the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, voluntarily agreed to a 20-year exclusion from federal healthcare programs, and liquidated his business holdings and certain personal property to pay the civil damages and criminal restitution. In a separate case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office collected $988,366 in criminal restitution from Elaine Dawson, the owner of five cinemas in Bellaire, Petoskey, Gaylord, Mackinaw City, and Cheboygan, Michigan. Dawson pled guilty to tax evasion. She routinely under-reported the number of patrons who bought movie tickets, and under-reported her receipts from sales of concessions, gift certificates, and other items, then skimmed the cash from the unreported sales for personal use.

           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 U.S. 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’s Crime Victims’ Fund, which distributes the funds to state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.

           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, Small Business Administration and Department of Education.

           Proceeds generated from civil, criminal, and administrative forfeiture actions are deposited in the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund or the Treasury Department’s Treasury Forfeiture Fund. These funds are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes through the Department of Justice’s equitable sharing program. In FY 2013, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan distributed $330,377 to state and local law enforcement agencies through the equitable sharing program.

           These FY 2013 civil and criminal collections and forfeiture figures total $8.1 million for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan. By way of comparison, the total figures for the office in FY 2012 and FY 2011 were approximately $8.2 million and $7.5 million, respectively.

END

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