News and Press Releases

U. S. Attorney’s Office Collects More Than $35 Million In Civil & Criminal Actions In FY 2012

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 2012

     U.S. Attorney Peter J. Smith announced today that the Middle District of Pennsylvania collected more than $35 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 related to criminal and civil actions.  Of this amount, $5 million was collected in criminal actions and $17 million was collected in civil actionsAdditionally, the office collected $13 million in criminal and civil forfeitures. The total collection for FY12 is an increase of more than $15 million over FY11 collections.

     Within the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the Victim Rights and Asset Recovery Unit, formed in November 2011 to combine the District’s Asset Forfeiture, Financial Litigation, and Victim/Witness Units and headed by Assistant U.S. Attorney James Clancy, is responsible for the collection of debts owed to the United States through fines, assessments, restitution orders, and money judgments imposed in civil and criminal cases. 

     U.S. Attorney Peter Smith stated, “This office has given a very high priority to the recovery of unlawful gains from criminal activity especially so that the money can be used to compensate crime victims. Persons who may be entitled to those funds should contact our office to find out how they can obtain restitution.”

     Another major activity of the new unit is to collect funds from those who have been found to owe lawful debts to the United States government.

     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.

     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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