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United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas Collects More Than $15.7 Million In Civil and Criminal Actions For U.S. Taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2014

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas (WDTX) collected $15,712,319.55 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2013 announced U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman.  Of this amount, $10,642,574.35 was collected in criminal actions and $5,069,745.20 was collected in civil actions. 

Additionally, the Western District of Texas worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $203,456,628.90 in civil actions pursued jointly.  The WDTX, working with partner agencies and divisions, also collected over $8.6 million 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.

“In addition to securing punishment for those who break the law, it's an important part of our mission to separate them from the profits of their misdeeds and return the money to its rightful owners, whether crime victims or taxpayers,” stated United States Attorney Robert Pitman.

Notable FY 2013 WDTX collections include:

SAN ANTONIO - In April, the WDTX recovered $3,875,459.65 as part of a Health Care Fraud civil settlement with Caremark, Inc.  This amount represents the federal share of a settlement between Caremark, the Federal government and the state of Texas.  The payment was made to settle allegations that Caremark violated the False Claims Act by intentionally failing to properly process Medicaid claims for reimbursement under the Medicaid Third Party Liability statute;

EL PASO - In August, the WDTX recovered $2,855,791.04 in fines and restitution from Oswaldo Kuchle-Lopez for his role in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud by scheming to defraud the Export-Import Bank of the United States for loans purportedly involving construction vehicles and agricultural equipment destined for Mexico;

AUSTIN - In June, the WDTX collected $342,862.65 from Harris Eugene “Gene” Yarbrough, III, as part of his Court-ordered restitution of $2,150,688.26 based on his 2002 bank fraud conviction;

WACO - In August, the WDTX collected $187,556.69 in fines and restitution from High Performance Ropes of America, Inc., for their role in making false statements to the Department of Labor concerning violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay its workers overtime wages; and,

MIDLAND - In May, the WDTX collected $89,896.69 in restitution from Gary Gardenhire stemming from the sale of his racetrack.  The collection was applied towards his Court-ordered restitution of $2,444,165.10 based on his 2010 mail fraud conviction for scheming to steal hydraulic hoses from a Permian basin business and sell them for profit.

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.  That figure 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 American 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.”

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.

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