U. S. Attorney's Office Collects $13.1 Million in Civil and Criminal Actions in FY 2012
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton announced today that the Western District of Pennsylvania collected $13,143,584 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 related to criminal and civil actions. Of this amount, $3,493,028 was collected in criminal actions and $9,653,556 was collected in civil actions. Additionally, the office collected $5,907,994 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.
“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,” said U.S. Attorney Hickton. "The $13.1 million collected in FY 2012 represents a 37.4% increase over last year's collections of $9.5 million. Collections related to civil actions rose 56.5%, to $9.6 million from $6.1 million in FY 2011."
This past June, the Western District of Pennsylvania recovered $1,982,122.32 as part of the settlement in the Excela Health Corporation and Westmoreland Regional Hospital case. The case involved the submission of allegedly false claims for reimbursement to the Medicare program related to medically unnecessary cardiac stenting procedures performed during the period from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2011 by two interventional cardiologists, Dr. Ehab Morcos and Dr. George BouSamra, who had privileges at the hospital.
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. In FY 2012, asset forfeiture collections in the Western District of Pennsylvania increased 43% to $5.9 million from $4.1 million the previous year.
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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