November 16, 2011
Department of Justice
United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee
U. S. Attorney's Office Collects $44,611,456.06 in Civil & Criminal Actions in Fy 2011
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - U.S. Attorney William C. Killian announced today that the Eastern District of Tennessee collected $44,611,456.06 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 related to criminal and civil actions. Of this amount, $1,349,833.18 was collected in criminal actions and $43,261,622.88 was collected in civil actions. Additionally, the office collected $1,993,947.00 in criminal and civil forfeitures.
Nationwide, the U.S. Attorneys' offices collected $6.5 billion in criminal and civil actions during FY 2011, surpassing $6 billion for the second consecutive year. A portion of this amount, $1.3 billion, was collected in shared cases in which one or more U.S. Attorneys' offices or department litigating divisions were also involved. The $6.5 billion represents more than three times the appropriated budget of the combined 94 offices for FY 2011.
"These collections are especially important during this time of economic recovery," said U.S. Attorney Bill Killian. "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. We will continue to hold accountable those who have profited from crime or the illegal use of federal money."
This past September, the Eastern District of Tennessee recovered $41.8 million as part of the settlement paid by Hill-Rom Company, Inc. for alleged violations of the False Claims Act and other federal laws and regulations relating to Medicare claims for specialized medical equipment for which patients did not qualify.
In addition, in its debt enforcement efforts, the Eastern District of Tennessee takes full advantage of the most efficient means to recover money owed to the government and to crime victims, including the Treasury Offset Program (TOP). Under the TOP, federal payments (including tax refunds) due to debtors who owe money to federal agencies or who owe criminal restitution are intercepted and credited toward the federal debt. Collections from the TOP by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee for FY 2011 exceeded $466,000.00. U.S. Attorney Killian said of the TOP, "It is important that delinquent debtors understand that they cannot receive funds from federal programs when they owe delinquent federal debt. We will use all the tools in our arsenal to ensure that crime victims and federal agencies receive the money they are due."
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. Statistics indicate that the total amount collected 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.
The statistics also indicate that $3.83 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 $1.68 billion in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2011. 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.
The nationwide collection totals for the U.S. Attorneys' offices for FY 2010 and FY 2011 combined is $13.18 billion, which represents nearly a 52% increase over the FY 2008 and FY 2009 combined total of $8.55 billion.
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.