News and Press Releases

U.S. Attorney’s Office Contributed $272 Million in Civil and Criminal Collections

Offices Throughout the Country Contributed a Total of $6.68 Billion in Fiscal Year 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, today announced that his office helped contribute $272 million in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010. The ninety-four U.S. Attorneys' offices nationwide contributed to the collection of $6.68 billion during the government's fiscal year.  This amount is the most successful collection year by the U.S. Attorneys' offices.

According to statistics from the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia collected $17 million in criminal actions and $255 million in civil actions in FY 2010. A portion of this amount, $87 million, was collected in shared cases in which one or more U.S. Attorney’s offices or Department litigating divisions were also involved. Another component of the civil recoveries, $165.5 million, resulted in the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s intervention against companies that were ultimately required to expend that amount to satisfy compliance regulations and make environmental reparations.

“This money helps protect the public and recovers funds for crime victims and the federal treasury,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “During this time of economic recovery, these collections are more important than ever. We will continue to hold accountable those who seek to profit from their illegal activities. Additional resources have been committed district-wide to pursue every dollar lost through fraud or overpayment.”

The U.S. Attorneys' offices are responsible for enforcing and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the United States and criminal debts owed to federal crime victims.  Statistics from the Department of Justice indicate that the total amount collected in criminal actions totaled $2.84 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 $3.84 billion was collected in 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. Last year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia doubled the number of Assistant U.S. Attorneys dedicated to affirmative civil enforcement and expanded its enforcement efforts through a number of initiatives.

The nationwide collection totals for FY 2010 represent nearly a 30 percent increase in criminal collections and 57 percent increase in civil collections over FY 2009.  In FY 2009, the U.S. Attorneys' offices contributed to the collection of more than $4.6 billion.  Of the amount collected, $2.23 billion was collected criminally and $2.44 billion was collected civilly.  The significant increase in collections was due to various large criminal restitution cases as well as large health care fraud cases.

Additionally, the U.S. Attorneys' offices contributed to the collection of $1.8 billion in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2010.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia contributed more than $10 million to that total. Forfeited assets are deposited into either the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund or the Department of Treasury Forfeiture Fund and are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.

For further information, the United States Attorneys’ Annual Statistical Reports through FY 2009 can be found on the internet at http://www.justice.gov/usao/reading_room/foiamanuals.html.

 

 

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