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U.S. Attorney's Office Announces Record Collections In Civil & Criminal Actions In Fiscal Year 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 11, 2012

United States Attorney Anne M. Tompkins Western District of North Carolina

Charlotte, N.C. – U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins announced today that the Western District of North Carolina (WDNC) collected $5,053,557,228 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 related to civil, criminal, and forfeiture actions. Of this amount, $5,037,792,574 was collected in civil actions, $11,318,916 was collected in criminal and civil forfeitures, and $4,445,737 was collected in criminal actions. A significant portion of the District’s recoveries was collected in shared cases in which one or more U.S. Attorneys’ Offices or Justice Department litigating divisions were also involved. Of the money collected, $6,392,544 was paid to the federal court for distribution to victims of crimes, which included individuals, companies, and government agencies.

“I am pleased to announce that in fiscal year 2012 our office played an important role in recovering an unprecedented amount of civil and criminal collections on behalf of crime victims and taxpayers. I commend the attorneys, investigators, auditors, and support staff in our office and our partner agencies for their dedication and tireless pursuit of justice. An important part of our work is protecting the public from fraud, waste and abuse, and recovering ill-gotten gains from those who seek to profit from illegal activities.”

Examples of significant recoveries by WDNC in FY2012 include:

In February 2012, WDNC participated in a settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers – Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, JPMorganChase, and Ally – in which the servicers agreed to pay a $25 billion settlement to resolve allegations of abuse and fraud in mortgage loan servicing and foreclosures. Under the agreement, the servicers agreed to devote $20 billion to consumer relief, while also paying $4.25 billion to the states, and $750 million to the U.S. Treasury.

In United States v. Nextcare, Inc., NextCare owned a chain of urgent care facilities in Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina. The company agreed to pay $10 million to settle federal and state allegations that it completed unnecessary testing, submitted false claims to Medicare, Tricare, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, and Medicaid. The Western District received $3,522,500 of this recovery, to be paid to the defrauded state and federal health care programs.

In United States v. Ricky Hardee, Hardee was convicted of tax evasion. Hardee was sentenced to twenty-one months in prison and was ordered to pay approximately $1.6 million in unpaid taxes to the IRS. The WDNC collected the total amount of restitution owed, which was returned to the IRS. In United States v. Donald Eugene Bess, Bess was convicted for a money laundering and insurance fraud conspiracy operated through his car sales business. The WDNC Asset Forfeiture Unit collected $289,456 in FY 2012 to be paid to victims as restitution.

In United States v. Alexander Klosek, Klosek was convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud. Klosek participated in a fraudulent investment business which solicited investors and offered estate planning services, all geared toward retirees. The WDNC Asset Forfeiture Unit collected $997,899 in this case in FY 2012 to be applied to restitution for the victims of these crimes.

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 United States, 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 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.

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.

The $13.16 billion collected nationwide by the U.S. Attorneys’ offices for FY 2012 nearly matches the $13.18 billion collected in FY 2010 and FY 2011 combined.

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


 

 

 

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