"U.S. Attorney's Office Collects $14,052,903 in Civil & Criminal Actions in FY2011"
Spokane – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that the Eastern District of Washington collected $14,052,903 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 related to criminal, civil, and forfeiture actions. Of this amount, $776,628.64 was collected in criminal actions and $9,644,509.88 was collected in civil actions. Additionally, the office collected $3,631,765 in criminal, civil and administrative 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.
"The United States Attorney's Office does not only prosecute criminals, it also protects the public treasury by collecting money owed to the United States and helps crime victims recover compensation," said U.S. Attorney Ormsby. "Additionally, money we collect from civil and criminal forfeitures is shared with state and local agencies to enhance their investigative capacities. During this past year, we collected more than double the direct budget for the entire United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Washington. We will continue to hold accountable those who owe the federal government money and those who attempt to profit from crime."
As just one example of our work resulting in significant recoveries for the government and American taxpayer, in 2011, the Eastern District of Washington recovered $6,015,000 as part of the settlement in a case involving CH2M Hill Hanford Group, Inc., Fluor Hanford, Inc., and Kennewick Industrial & Electrical Supply, Inc., contractors at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. There remain a number of on-going civil and criminal actions involving contractors and their employees at Hanford. "Since the clean-up of Hanford is such a high priority for us in this state, it is imperative to hold those who are responsible for this clean-up to be accountable for the receipt and expenditure of federal funds," U.S. Attorney Ormsby said.
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 www.justice.gov\usao\reading_room\foiamanuals.html .