News and Press Releases

United States Attorney for Western District of Oklahoma
Involved in Collecting Over $701 Million in Fiscal Year 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2014

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, announced today that his office was involved in collecting a total of $701,879,812 in civil and criminal cases and through asset forfeiture in Fiscal Year 2013.

The Western District of Oklahoma collected $177,335,420.48 in criminal and civil actions FY 2013. Of this amount, $163,574,529.60 was collected in criminal actions and $13,760,890.88 was collected in civil actions.

The Western District of Oklahoma also worked jointly with other U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $446,231,873.45 in other civil cases pursued jointly with these offices.

Finally, the Western District worked with partner agencies and divisions to collect an additional $78,336,320.00 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2013. Forfeited assets are deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund and are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Thursday that the Justice Department collected approximately $8.1 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2013. The more than $8 billion in collections in FY 2013 represents nearly three times the appropriated $2.76 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices and the main litigating divisions in that same period.

"The department’s enforcement actions help to not only ensure justice is served, but also deliver a valuable return to the American people," said Attorney General Holder. "It is critical that Congress provide the resources necessary to match the department’s mounting caseload. As these figures show, supporting our federal prosecutors is a sound investment."

"These significant recoveries highlight the remarkable work done by the talented women and men in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, particularly in our Asset Recovery Unit," said U.S. Attorney Coats. "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."

Significant Cases in the Western District of Oklahoma

In July of this year, the Western District of Oklahoma, in collaboration with the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, announced the resolution of parallel criminal and civil cases against Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc., for the unlawful "off-label" marketing of the prescription drug Rapamune for uses not approved as safe and effective by the FDA. The case concluded with a joint resolution of criminal liability and two civil qui tam cases where Wyeth pled guilty to a criminal misbranding violation under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and paid $490.9 million to resolve its criminal and civil liability arising from the qui tam and criminal cases. The settlement included civil settlements totaling $257.4 million, a criminal fine of $157.58 million, and forfeiture of $76 million.

In April, the Western District of Oklahoma recovered $11,000,000 from CVS Pharmacy, Inc., and Oklahoma CVS Pharmacy, L.L.C., for alleged record-keeping violations under the Controlled Substances Act. The government alleged that CVS (1) used invalid “dummy” DEA registration numbers of prescribing practitioners on dispensing records, (2) filled prescriptions for certain prescribers whose DEA registration numbers were not current or valid, and (3) maintained dispensing records using the DEA registration numbers of non-prescribing practitioners substituted for the actual prescribing practitioners. Accurate prescription records provided to state prescription drug monitoring programs play a vital in ensuring the appropriate handling, accounting, and distribution of controlled substances.

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. 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 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 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, Small Business Administration and Department of Education.

 

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