U. S. Attorney’s Office Collects over $600 Million in Civil and Criminal Actions in FY 2012
U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch announced today that the Eastern District of New York collected $ 612,592,035.17 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 related to criminal and civil actions. Of this amount, $520,859,576.49 was collected in civil actions and $91,732,458.68 was collected in criminal actions. Additionally, the office collected $44,014,223 in criminal and civil forfeitures.
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.
“These civil and criminal collections reflect the dedication and commitment of this Office to protecting the public and recovering funds for return to the victims of fraudulent schemes and federal crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Lynch. “We will continue to hold accountable those who seek to profit from their illegal activities.”
This past year, this Office collected $500 million of the $1 billion dollar settlement it negotiated with Bank of America and Countrywide Financial Corporation to resolve claims related to the origination of home mortgage loans that were made to unqualified buyers. These loans were backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, which had guaranteed payment in the event the buyers defaulted on the loans. The remainder of the settlement is dedicated to providing relief to homeowners throughout the country and helping them remain in their homes.
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 $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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