Western District of Oklahoma U. S. Attorney’s Office Collects Nearly
$13.5 Million in Civil and Criminal Actions in Fy 2012
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - United States Attorney Sanford C. Coats announced today that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma collected $13,449,389.06 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 related to criminal and civil actions. Of this amount, $9,699,715.03 was collected in criminal actions and $3,749,674.03 was collected in civil actions. Additionally, the office collected $2,469,765 in criminal and civil forfeitures. Approximately $41,827 in forfeited assets were distributed to state and local law enforcement agencies.
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 significant numbers highlight the remarkable work done by the talented women and men in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, particularly in our Financial Litigation Unit and Asset Forfeiture section, and by our federal, state and local law enforcement partners,” said U.S. Attorney Coats. “During this time of economic recovery, these collections are more important than ever and we are committed to recovering the financial losses suffered by victims of crime and money obtained by fraud on the government. 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.”
As part of its 2012 collections efforts, a few examples of cases in the Western District of Oklahoma are as follows:
- The Harmon County Healthcare Authority and Dr. Akram R. Abraham entered into a $1,550,000 civil settlement to resolve a whistleblower lawsuit alleging health care fraud violations of the federal “Stark” regulations and Anti-Kickback Statute.
- Lance E. Faulkner was convicted of health care fraud in connection with sales of prosthetic limbs and components and sentenced to serve 51 months in prison and pay over $4.5 million in restitution. Faulkner agreed to a money judgment of $4,667,076.27 and agreed to the forfeiture of assets valued at approximately $857,874, for the purpose of satisfying the forfeiture judgment to be applied to victim compensation. The substitute assets forfeited were real property, boats, several vehicles, lawn equipment, ATVs, household items, various sound studio equipment and miscellaneous items.
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.