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 collected over $5 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 in its criminal, civil and forfeiture programs. The totals included $5 billion collected in civil cases (which includes the Western District’s share of a $25 billion dollar agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers) and $6.4 million collected in criminal actions.
More than $4.3 million was paid to the federal court for distribution to victims of crimes, which included individuals, companies, and government agencies. Additionally, the office collected $11.3 million in criminal and civil forfeitures, of which more than $1.9 million was paid to the federal court to be distributed to victims of crime.
“I am pleased to announce that in fiscal year 2012 our office recovered an unprecedented amount in civil and criminal actions for this District. I want to thank the talented attorneys, investigators, auditors, and support staff in our office and our partner agencies for their dedication and tireless pursuit that made these results possible,” U.S. Attorney Tompkins stated.
“However,” U.S. Attorney Tompkins added, “I want to emphasize that today’s announcement is not just about the amount of money this office collected in 2012. Behind these figures are real people with real stories. The numbers represent citizens in our communities who became victims of investment fraud scams promising high returns, homeowners who risked losing their homes because of abusive foreclosure practices by banks, and taxpayers affected by elaborate healthcare fraud schemes against Medicare or Medicaid. Each and every story is real and the 2012 collections reflect our office’s deep commitment to protecting the public from fraud, waste and abuse, and delivering a strong message to scammers that crime doesn’t pay in Western North Carolina.”
Nationwide, the U.S. Attorneys’ offices collected $13.1 billion in criminal and civil actions during FY 2012, more than doubling the $6.5 billion collected in FY 2011. A portion of this amount, $5.3 billion, was collected in shared cases in which one or more U.S. Attorneys’ offices or department litigating divisions were also involved. The $13.1 billion represents more than six times the appropriated budget of the combined 94 offices for FY 2012.
Western District of North Carolina Collections in Criminal, Civil and Forfeiture Actions
In the Western District in FY 2012, $11,318,916 was forfeited in civil and criminal cases. A total of $6,392,545 in restitution was collected by the United States Attorney’s Office on behalf of crime victims, of which $1,946,807 was from forfeited assets. It is a priority of the Department of Justice that victims be repaid their losses from all sources available, including forfeited assets. Collection of restitution on behalf of victims remains a top priority for the Western District. The office had numerous sizeable collections in a variety of cases, including tax fraud, mortgage fraud, bank fraud, and child pornography. In addition, the office had numerous, significant civil enforcement actions related to health care and other fraud. Recoveries in those cases return funds to defrauded programs and agencies, and fund further fraud-fighting efforts.
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.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office also took part in a $25 billion dollar agreement between the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers, including Bank of America, to address violations of state and federal law as to foreclosure abuses and related issues. The WDNC shared in the collection of $5,021,507,454 in FY 2012.
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.
In United States v. Karen Floyd, Floyd was convicted for misapplication of bank funds by a bank employee and processing fraudulent loans. The WDNC collected $274,000 for Floyd’s victim, her former employer and its insurer.
National Collections in Criminal, Civil, and Forfeiture Actions Brought by U.S. Attorneys
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.