The Southern District of Texas is consistently among the top districts in the United States in forfeiture recoveries.
The forfeiture AUSAs work closely with criminal prosecutors, federal agencies and state and local law enforcement to identify and forfeit the instrumentalities, profits and proceeds of criminal activity. The asset forfeiture attorneys prosecute civil and criminal forfeiture of ill-gotten gains derived from federal crimes including drug trafficking, organized crime, fraud, corruption, immigration violations and child exploitation to deter crime and eliminate a criminal organization’s financial ability to continue its illegal activity. An important objective of the federal asset forfeiture program is to restore forfeited property to the victims of criminal activity to the fullest extent under law. Equitable sharing is another significant feature and permits forfeited property to be shared with state and local agencies assisting in the forfeiture and permits the use of forfeited funds to further certain law enforcement efforts and programs.
The financial litigation unit has primary responsibility for enforcing the restitution and fine orders imposed in criminal cases and for collecting judgments and penalties awarded to the United States in a variety of civil cases, including delinquent student and small business loans, environmental penalties and bankruptcy judgments.
Such financial collections by DOJ in criminal and civil actions in FY 2010 reached an all-time high due to the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s offices nationwide. The 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices contributed to the collection of $6.68 billion during the government’s fiscal year and, according to DOJ statistics, the Southern District of Texas collected almost one-sixth of that total-ranking second among all offices nationally.