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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BETH PHILLIPS


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.justice.gov/usao/mow/index.html


DECEMBER 16, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


FISCAL YEAR 2010


U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE COLLECTS MORE THAN $15 MILLION

IN VICTIM RESTITUTION, FINES, CIVIL ACTIONS


CONTRIBUTED TO $6.68 BILLION TOTAL NATIONALLY;

LARGEST RECOVERIES IN HISTORY


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that financial collections exceeded $15 million in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010. Nationwide, collections by the Department of Justice reached an all-time high this year.


            According to statistics from the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri contributed to the collection of $15,264,045 in FY 2010. Of this amount, $6,134,670 was collected in criminal actions and $9,129,375 was collected in civil actions. In total, the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices nationwide contributed to the collection of $6.68 billion during the government’s fiscal year. This amount is the most successful collection year by the U.S. Attorneys’ offices.


            More than $5.4 million was collected in restitution for victims of federal crimes in the Western District of Missouri. In civil actions in the Western District of Missouri, more than $5.6 million was collected in health care fraud cases.


            “These collection efforts occur outside the limelight, but they are crucial to ensuring justice for the victims of crime and for the citizens of our district,” Phillips said. “More than $15 million in collections is a testament to the successful efforts of our hard-working staff.


            “We’re seizing criminals’ assets and confiscating the profits of their illegal activities,” Phillips added. “We remain equally committed to recovering funds that are owed to crime victims and funds owed to the government through civil enforcement.


            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. Statistics from the Department of Justice indicate that the total amount collected in criminal actions totaled $2.84 billion in restitution, criminal fines, and felony assessments. 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 directly to the victim, criminal fines and felony assessments are paid to the Justice Department’s Crime Victims’ Fund, which distributes the funds to state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.


            The statistics also indicate that $3.84 billion was collected in civil actions nationwide. 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.


            For further information, the United States Attorneys’ Annual Statistical Reports through FY 2009 can be found on the Internet at http://www.justice.gov/usao/reading_room/foiamanuals.html


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

http://www.justice.gov/usao/mow/index.html