News and Press Releases

Western District Of Pennsylvania Recovers $9.5 Million In Debt Owed To U.S. Taxpayers In FY 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 22 , 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton announced today that the Western District of Pennsylvania collected $9.5 million in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011.

In conjunction with the numbers, the Department of Justice announced that nationwide the agency collected over $6.5 billion in debts owed to taxpayers in the same period which ended on Sept. 30, 2011.

According to statistics from the Department of Justice, of the $9,564,294.00 collected by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania, $3,398,220.21 was collected in criminal actions and $6,166,073.79 was collected in civil actions.  A portion of the amount, $922,784.14, was collected in shared cases in which one or more U.S. Attorney's offices or Department litigating divisions were also involved.  Additionally, the office collected $4,127,137.00 in criminal and civil forfeitures.

"During this time of economic recovery, these collections are more important that ever," said U.S. Attorney Hickton.  "The U.S. Attorney's Office is dedicated to protecting the public welfare 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."

The Department of Justice is responsible for enforcing  and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the U.S. and criminal debts owed to federal crime victims.  Statistics from the Department indicate that the total amount collected nationwide 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.

Additionally, the Department of Justice collected $2.96 billion in asset forfeiture actions nationwide 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 statistics also indicate that $3.83 billion was collected nationwide in 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 finds 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.

For further information, the Department's Annual Statistical Reports can be found on the internet at http://justice.gov/usao/resources/reports/.

To view the Department of Justice's nationwide release, visit www.usdoj.gov.

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