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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA

William J. Ihlenfeld, II
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY


1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist

November 17, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

U. S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE COLLECTS OVER $5 MILLION
IN CIVIL & CRIMINAL ACTIONS IN FY 2011

WHEELING, WV -- United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced today that the Northern District of West Virginia contributed to the collection of $5,148,610.92 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 related to criminal and civil actions. Of this amount, $591,738.89 was collected in criminal actions and $3,630,151.05 was collected in civil actions. Additionally, the office collected $926,720.98 in criminal and civil forfeitures.

Nationwide, the United States 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 United States 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 tremendous efforts of everyone within our Civil Division have resulted in a remarkable amount of money being recovered in the Northern District in Fiscal Year 2011,” said USA Ihlenfeld. “Affirmative civil enforcement is something that we have placed additional emphasis on, and our state and federal agents have stepped up to the plate to help us to meet our objectives. Without so many talented investigators, we would not have had such a productive year.”

“We are dedicated to protecting the public and recovering funds for crime victims and for the federal treasury, and we will continue to hold those accountable who seek to profit from illegal activities,” said USA Ihlenfeld.

The United States Attorneys’ 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. 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 United States 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 United States 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 United States 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 http://www.justice.gov/usao/reading_room/foiamanuals.html.

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