News and Press Releases

District Of Montana Recovers $2.5 Million In Debt Owed To U.S. Taxpayers In Fy 201

Thursday, November 17, 2011

U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter announced today that the District of Montana collected $2.5 million in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011.

In conjunction with these numbers, the Department of Justice announced that nationwide the agency collected over $6.5 billion in debts owed to taxpayers in the same period which ended on September 30, 2011.

According to statistics from the Department of Justice, of the $2.5 million collected by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Montana, $2 million was collected in criminal actions and $500,000 was collected in civil actions. Additionally, the office also collected $847,400.32 in criminal and civil forfeitures. Of this amount, $166,000 was applied to restitution owed by the defendants and disbursed to the victims of the fraud.

During this time of economic recovery, these collections are more important than ever," said U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter. "The U.S. Attorney's Office is dedicated to 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."

During the past fiscal year the District of Montana received large payments in fines including over $500,000 in payment of a single drug fine, and garnishments related to fraud cases including in excess of $269,000 in one case. The District of Montana also resolved large environmental fines during the past year which have resulted in payment of over one million already in fiscal year 2012.

The Department of Justice is responsible for enforcing and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the U.S. and criminal debts owed to federal crime victims. Statistics from the Department indicate that the total amount collected nationwide in criminal actions totaled $2.66 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 Department's Crime Victims' Fund, which distributes the funds to state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.

Additionally, the Department of Justice collected $2.96 billion in asset forfeiture actions nationwide in FY 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 statistics also indicate that $3.83 billion was collected nationwide in 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.

For further information, the Department's Annual Statistical Reports can be found on the internet at

To view the Department of Justice's nationwide release, visit



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