Monday, October 19, 2009
Department of Justice
United States Attorney James R. Dedrick Eastern District of Tennessee
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE COLLECTS OVER $12.9 MILLION
KNOXVILLE, Tenn - The United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee collected over $11.8 million for victims and federal coffers during fiscal year ending September 30, 2009. In addition, the United States Attorney’s Office collected almost $1.1 million in cases involving civil and criminal forfeitures. These amounts represent more than 1.3 times the entire operating budget of the United States Attorney's Office in the Eastern District.
The monies collected included payments on cases in the following categories: criminal fines and restitution, affirmative civil enforcement, defaulted loans, and asset distributions from bankruptcy cases. Civil debts were collected on behalf of several federal agencies including the United States Department of Education, Health and Human Services, Internal Revenue Service, Farm Service Agency, Housing and Urban Development, and the United States Small Business Administration.
United States Attorney Russ Dedrick emphasized that the millions of dollars collected by his office are put to good use. For example, criminal fines and assessments are deposited into the Crime Victims’ Fund to be used for crime victims. The compensation program supplements funds used to pay claims for medical costs, lost wages, mental health counseling, funeral expenses, and other expenses victims incur as a result of violent crimes committed against them. The assistance program provides funds to domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers and other local agencies to provide services to victims, such as crisis intervention, counseling, emergency shelter, and criminal justice advocacy. Criminal restitution is paid directly to the victims who lost money from the criminal conduct. Forfeited funds from criminals are made available to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, and civil recoveries are deposited into the United States treasuryand, in some cases, are used to compensate the federal agencies and programs that suffered losses as the result of fraudulent conduct.
“Our mission is a global law enforcement approach that involves not just protecting the public by locking up the bad guys but also helping to restore the victims to the fullest extent possible. Collection of restitution for the benefit of the victims is an important part of our mission, and our program can make a significant difference in the way victims respond to being victimized,” said U.S. Attorney Dedrick. “It is very gratifying to see that the funds we secure from offenders are put to such good use to help crime victims.”
The $12.9 million was collected through the concerted efforts of the entire staff in all divisions of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which covers 41 counties in Eastern Tennessee. U.S. Attorney Dedrick commended his staff for their efforts in collecting these debts owed to the government and victims.