U.S. Attorney’s Office Collects $26,904,691.30 in Civil & Criminal Actions in FY 2011
U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced today that the District of Nebraska collected a record breaking $26,904,691.30 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2011. Gilg noted that the collections represent almost five times the annual appropriated budget of the Nebraska office. Approximately $21 million of this collection was a result of fines levied against the Union Pacific Railroad in connection with the ASARCO lead contamination Super Fund site in Omaha. Ms. Gilg stated, “During this time of economic recovery, these collections are more important than ever. 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 whose seek to profit from their illegal activities.”
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, surpassing $6 billion for the second consecutive year. The $6.5 billion represents more than three times the appropriated budget of the combined 94 United States Attorney’s Office for fiscal year 2011.
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 U.S. and criminal debts owed to federal crime victims. Statistics indicate that the total amount collected 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.
The statistics also indicate that $3.83 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 $1.68 billion in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2011. 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 nationwide collection totals for the U.S. Attorneys’ offices for FY 2010 and FY 2011 combined is $13.18 billion, which represents nearly a 52% increase over the FY 2008 and FY 2009 combined total of $8.55 billion.
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.