News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Minnesota U.S. Attorney’s Office Collects $276 Million in Fiscal Year 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2011


MINNEAPOLIS ‐ U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones announced today that the District of
Minnesota collected $276,523,300.55 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, with only six of 94 U.S. Attorney
offices nationwide collecting more than the office in Minnesota. Of the District of Minnesota’s
total, $264,296,640.17 was collected in criminal actions, from payment of fines and victim
restitution, among other penalties; while $12,226,660.38 was collected in civil actions, from
overdue student‐loan repayments to fraud recoveries. In addition to the total collection
amount noted above, the office also reported obtaining $63,848,883 through criminal and civil
forfeiture procedures, which focus on the seizure of property used in the commission of
crimes or property determined to be proceeds of criminal activity.

Nationwide, U.S. Attorneys offices collected $6.5 billion in non‐forfeiture criminal and
civil actions during FY 2011, surpassing $6 billion for the second consecutive year. A portion of
this amount, $1.3 billion, was collected in shared cases; that is, cases in which one or more
U.S. Attorney office or Justice Department litigating division was also involved. The $6.5 billion
represents more than three times the appropriated budget of the 94 U.S. Attorney offices for
FY 2011.

In making today’s announcement, Jones said, “While our work in court on behalf of the
United States and the citizens of the District of Minnesota garners much media attention, our
efforts behind the scenes to collect criminal fines, victim restitution, civil debts and penalties,
or otherwise recover money lost due to fraud of government programs is no less important,
particularly in these tough economic times. I am proud of the efforts of those who work in our
Financial Litigation, Asset Forfeiture, and Fraud Units. They are dedicated public servants who,
together with their colleagues, will continue to work hard to protect the public and hold
accountable those who seek to profit from illegal activity.”

U.S. Attorney offices nationally, along with U.S. Department of Justice litigating
divisions, collected a total of $2.66 billion in criminal actions, from fines, court assessments,
and victim restitution. While restitution is paid directly to victims who have suffered a physical
injury or financial loss because of an offender’s criminal behavior, fines and felony
assessments are paid into the Justice Department’s Crime Victims’ Fund and then
redistributed to state victim compensation and assistance programs.

In civil actions, $3.83 billion was collected by U.S. Attorney offices in individual and
jointly handled cases. The largest civil collections were from affirmative civil enforcement
cases, in which the United States recovered government money lost to fraud or other
misconduct. Other collections were obtained as a result of civil penalties imposed on
individuals or corporations for violating 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 the Small Business Administration.

In FY2011, one of the largest recoveries in the District of Minnesota was obtained from
Trevor Cook, who paid more than $3.5 million in restitution to the victims of his investment
fraud scheme. Cook is also serving a 25‐year federal prison sentence. Sizable recoveries also
came from Joseph and John Riley, business owners from Morris, Minnesota, who paid
$250,000 each in criminal fines after pleading guilty to orchestrating a tax‐evasion scheme.
They are serving 42 months in federal prison and were also ordered to pay the Internal
Revenue Service all money owed by them. Through civil litigation, the District of Minnesota
obtained a large recovery from Minnesota Transit Constructors, a joint‐venture group involved
in building the Hiawatha Light Rail line. Minnesota Transit Constructors paid $4.6 million to
resolve allegations that it had claimed to the federal government that it had used
Disadvantaged Business Enterprises for its work on the project, when, in fact, it had not
employed such individuals or companies.

Additionally, U.S. Attorney offices nationally, working with partner agencies and
divisions, collected $1.68 billion in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2011. Forfeited assets are deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund and the Department of
Treasury Forfeiture Fund and are used to restore crime victims financially as well as for a
variety of law enforcement purposes. As stated above, forfeiture figures were not included in
the overall collection numbers cited in this release.

The non‐forfeiture collection for U.S. Attorney offices nationwide for FY 2010 and FY
2011 combined totaled $13.18 billion, which represents nearly a 52‐percent increase over the
FY 2008 and FY 2009 combined figure of $8.55 billion.

For further information, the United States Attorneys’ Annual Statistical Reports can be
found on the internet at www.justice.gov/usao/reading_room/foiamanuals.html.

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