FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Dec. 6, 2012
U. S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF W.VA. COLLECTS MORE THAN $30 MILLION IN CIVIL & CRIMINAL ACTIONS IN FY 2012
Collections more than triple from last year’s $8.3 million total
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia collected $29,040,926 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 related to criminal and civil actions, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced today. The fiscal year collections recorded $979,788 in criminal actions and $28,061,138 million in civil actions. The office also collected $1,537,983 million in forfeitures done both judicially and administratively.
“The monies that we have collected this fiscal year represent five times more than this office’s annual operating budget,” U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said. “But most important, the collection total reflects my office’s continued commitment to recover monetary losses from acts of fraud and other violations of federal criminal and civil statutes.”
Goodwin continued, “Protecting the public and recovering funds for the federal treasury and for victims of federal crime is a top priority. We will continue to hold accountable those who seek to profit from their illegal conduct.”
Nationwide, the U.S. Attorneys’ offices collected $13.1 billion in criminal and civil actions during FY 2012, more than doubling the $6.5 billion collected in FY 2011. A portion of this amount, $5.3 billion, was collected in shared cases in which one or more U.S. Attorneys’ offices or department litigating divisions were also involved. The $13.1 billion represents more than six times the appropriated budget of the combined 94 offices for FY 2012.
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 $3.035 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 $10.12 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.