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South Carolina U.S. Attorney's Office Works on Cases Which Result in $27,464,834.97 in Collections in Civil and Criminal Actions for U.S. Taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2013.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2014

Contact Person: Bill Nettles, U.S. Attorney (803) 929-3000

COLUMBIA, SC – U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles announced today that the District of South Carolina collected $6,232,636.39 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2013.  Of this amount, $3,648,161.74 was collected in criminal actions and $2,584,474.65 was collected in civil actionsAdditionally, the District of South Carolina worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $21,232,198.58 in cases pursued jointly with these offices.

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 taxpayer,” 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.”

Bill Nettles said “I have made recovery through false claims and qui tam actions a priority for this District.  This office, in the last 3.5 years, has become one of the top false claims offices in the country.  We are among the most aggressive districts in the country in our pursuit of Government fraud.  Through our aggressive pursuit of false claims actions, and with the help of whistleblowers, the money we have deposited in the U.S. Treasury far exceeds our annual budget.”

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.

Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s office in the District of South Carolina working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $819,621.00 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.

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