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New jersey u.S. Attorney’s office recovers more than $137.5 million in civil and criminal actions in fY 2011



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2011


 

Millions More Collected Through Asset Forfeiture

NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced today that the District of New Jersey recovered $137,538,596.82 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 related to criminal and civil actions. Of this amount, $42,460,184.32 was collected in criminal actions and $95,078,412.50 was collected in civil actions.

Additionally, the Office collected $13,971,219 in criminal and civil forfeitures, which includes money deposited in connection with orders of forfeiture entered in prior years. In FY 2011, court orders were entered in the District of New Jersey mandating the forfeiture of assets valued at $32,213,481, some of which were deposited in FY 2011, and some of which are still in the process of being liquidated and deposited.

Nationwide, the U.S. Attorneys’ offices collected $6.5 billion in criminal and civil actions during FY 2011, surpassing $6 billion for the second consecutive year. A portion of this amount, $1.3 billion, was collected in shared cases in which one or more U.S. Attorneys’ offices or U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) litigating divisions were also involved. The $6.5 billion represents more than three times the appropriated budget of the combined 94 offices for FY 2011.

“With all eyes on the bottom line in this recovering economic climate, Americans look to the federal government to spend money wisely,” said U.S. Attorney Fishman. “This Office was able to recover more than four times our budget for FY 2011, returning more than $137.5 million from criminals to the federal treasury and the victims of their crimes. Not only does our work provide vital protection to the people of New Jersey, we provide exceptional returns on the taxpayers’ investment. And hitting criminals in their pockets in addition to other penalties provides compelling evidence that crime doesn’t pay.”

As an example, in September 2011, the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office entered into a settlement agreement totaling $150 million with Maxim Healthcare Services, Inc., a Maryland-based medical staffing and home health care company. In the Department of Justice’s largest civil recovery in a home health care fraud case, Maxim agreed to reimburse federal Medicaid and Veterans Administration medical programs in the total amount of approximately $70 million and state Medicaid programs in the amount of approximately $60 million. Maxim also agreed to pay a $20 million criminal fine. By the end of FY2011, the Office had already received civil collections in the amount of $27,963,959.01 and $20 million in criminal collections.

The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, along with the DOJ’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 DOJ’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 DOJ 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 more 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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