News and Press Releases

Recoveries Largest in History

December 16, 2010

Seattle - U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan announced that financial collections by the Department of Justice in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 reached an all-time high due to the efforts of the U.S. Attorneys' offices nationwide. The ninety-four U.S. Attorneys' offices nationwide contributed to the collection of $6.68 billion during the government's fiscal year. This amount marks the most successful collection year by the U.S. Attorneys' offices.

According to statistics from the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorneys' Office for the Western District of Washington contributed to the collection of $16.6 million in FY 2010. Of this amount, $2.6 million was collected in criminal actions and $7.6 million was collected in civil. Additionally, the office also collected $6.4 million in criminal and civil forfeitures. The forfeitures include cash, cars and properties used in crimes and forfeited to the government.

“We will continue to protect our community by taking the profit out of crime and ensuring the greatest recovery for victims,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. Not only did the U.S. Attorney’s Office secure numerous criminal convictions, the financial recoveries exceeded the office budget by more than a million dollars. These totals for fiscal 2010 do not include the nearly $10 million forfeited in the Colacurcio prosecution – those forfeitures will be captured in fiscal year 2011.

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.

Additionally, the U.S. Attorneys' offices contributed to the collection of $1.8 billion in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2010. 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.

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.

The nationwide collection totals for FY 2010 represent nearly a 30% increase in criminal collections and 57% 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.

The United States Attorneys’ Annual Statistical Reports through FY 2009 can be found on the internet at:

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov



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