News and Press Releases

U. S. Attorneys’ Offices Nationwide Collected $6.5 Billion in Civil and Criminal Actions in Fiscal Year 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 28, 2011

(Brooklyn, New York) - U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch announced today that the Eastern District of New York collected $75,540,770.04 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 related to criminal and civil actions. Of this amount, $49,418,991.52 was collected in criminal actions and $26,121,778.52 was collected in civil actions. Additionally, the office collected $177,959,332 in criminal and civil forfeitures.

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 Department 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.

“During this time of economic recovery, these collections are more important than ever,” said U.S. Attorney Lynch. “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.”

In FY 2011, the Eastern District of New York recovered over $50 million as part of the settlement of a civil forfeiture action involving two brokerage accounts belonging to fugitive and former CEO Jacob “Kobi” Alexander, who is alleged to have orchestrated a massive stock option backdating scheme. The monies forfeited by the government were returned to the victim of Alexander’s crime, Comverse Technology, Inc., which, in turn, used the funds to settle class action and shareholder litigation, thereby returning the forfeited money to investors who suffered losses as a result of Alexander’s wrongdoing.

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 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 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 nationwide collection totals for the U.S. Attorneys’ offices for FY 2010 and FY 2011 combined is $13.18 billion, which represents more than a 50% increase over the FY 2008 and FY 2009 combined total of $8.5 billion.

For further information, the Department’s Annual Statistical Reports can be found on the Internet at http://www.justice.gov/usao/reading_room/foiamanuals.html



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