News and Press Releases

U.S. Attorney's Office Collects Over 100 Million Dollars in FY 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 7, 2012

Contact Person: Bill Nettles (803) 929-3000

COLUMBIA, South Carolina U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles announced today that the District of South Carolina collected $102,759,361 dollars in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 in criminal and civil actions.  Of this amount, $6,654,883 was collected in criminal actions and $96,104,478 was collected in civil actions

Bill Nettles said, “To put the dollar number in prospective it helps to know the total annual budget for this office is approximately 10 million dollars.  An investment in this office by the taxpayers of 10 million dollars produced a return of in excess of 100 million dollars.  That is an excellent return on investment by any standard.”

“We have made recovering funds that are lost from fraud against the government, qui tam actions, a top priority in this district.  I doubled the number of attorneys working in our Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit (“ACE Unit”) and have assigned additional support staff. This is the unit in our office that handles qui tam and false claims actions.  The outstanding results we have obtained in the false claim, qui tam arena are a direct result of our resource allocation. Of the 93 U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the United States, the District of South Carolina’s collections were the 5th highest.”  The U.S. Attorney added, “We will continue to hold accountable those who seek to profit from their illegal activities at the expense of government contracts and programming.  Recovering the money that was stolen plus substantial penalties is the most effective way to deter this fraud.”

This past March, the District of South Carolina settled with the nation's four largest mortgage servicers - Bank of America Corporation, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Company, and Citigroup Inc. These banks participated in a nationwide practice of failing to obtain required mortgage assignments which resulted in servicing misconduct, and using false assignments to submit Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance claims, all in violation of the federal False Claims Act.  Bill Nettles said, “The settlement this office obtained from the five major banks was historic in both its amount and its lasting effect on banking practices. This is just one of many examples of how the District of South Carolina has utilized the False Claims Act and its qui tam provisions to modify the behavior of corporations.”

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.  South Carolina US Attorney’s office assisted in the collection of $4,431,121,297.96 in shared cases.  The $13.1 billion represents more than six times the appropriated budget of the combined 94 offices for FY 2012.

            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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