U.S. Attorney’s Office Collects $2.6 Million in FY 2013
St. Thomas, USVI – United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced today that the District of the Virgin Islands collected $2,671,486 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2013. Of this amount, $2,387,388 was collected in criminal actions and $284,098 was collected in civil actions.
Additionally, the District of the Virgin Islands worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $26,000 in civil cases pursued jointly with these offices.
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. The more than $8 billion in collections in FY 2013 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 not only help to ensure justice is served, but also deliver a valuable return to the American people,” 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.”
“During these tight budgetary times, it is important that we use both civil and criminal actions to aggressively protect public funds, recover ill-gotten gains from fraudsters and criminal defendants, and make every effort to return these funds to crime victims and our struggling communities, ” said United States Attorney Sharpe.
In civil cases, the District of the Virgin Islands recovered $86,272 as part of a $125,849 settlement in a Social Security fraud case; $24,264 in a student loan case; $25,000 in an environmental case, and $134,421in a foreclosure case. In criminal cases, it recovered $240,392 from two defendants in a bank fraud case; $1,648,537 in two cases involving the illegal importation of black coral; $134,441 in a federal tax evasion case, and $28,646 in a FEMA fraud case.
The U.S. Attorney’s Offices, along with the department’s litigating divisions, are responsible for enforcing and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the United States, 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.
Nationwide, 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.