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Press Release

Eastern District of California U.S. Attorney’s Office Collects over $121 Million in Civil and Criminal Actions for U.S. Taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2015

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California collected over $121 million in civil and criminal actions, including forfeitures, in Fiscal Year 2015, which ended on September 30, 2015. Over $65 million was collected in criminal and civil actions handled solely by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California, including over $5.57 million in criminal actions and over $59.69 million in civil actions.

Additionally, the office worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $34.7 million in cases pursued jointly with these offices, almost all in civil actions. Collections in civil and criminal cases handled by the office, not including forfeitures, therefore totaled over $99.9 million.

Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Eastern District of California, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected over $21 million in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2015. Total civil and criminal collections including forfeitures, therefore, exceeded $121 million. Forfeited assets deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced on December 3, 2015, that the Justice Department collected $23.1 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015. The more than $23.1 billion in collections in FY 2015 represents more than seven and a half times the approximately $2.93 billion of the Justice Department’s combined appropriations for the 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices and the main litigating divisions in that same period.

"The Department of Justice is committed to upholding the rule of law, safeguarding taxpayer resources, and protecting the American people from exploitation and abuse,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “The collections we are announcing today demonstrate not only the strength of that commitment, but also the significant return on public investment that our actions deliver. I want to thank the prosecutors and trial attorneys who made this achievement possible, and to reiterate our dedication to this ongoing work.”

“This past year was the second-highest in the history of this office in terms of total collections for the taxpayer,” said U.S. Attorney Wagner. “Every year, attorneys in this office recover far more than it costs to operate the office, while stripping criminals and wrongdoers of ill-gotten gains, proceeds of fraud or false claims, and securing restitution for victims.”

Major recoveries by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California in civil cases this year included a $44 million settlement with the Iron Mountain records management company and a $2 million settlement with Composite Engineering Inc., both False Claims Act cases relating to pricing and costs in federal contracts. Quest Diagnostics paid $1.79 million to settle claims that it violated the False Claims Act by submitting duplicative claims to Medicare for certain venipuncture services and diagnostic tests and certain panel tests. In two cases alleging that doctors improperly billed Medicare for drugs they administered that were not approved by the FDA, the doctors paid a total of $1.3 million. Sierra Pacific Industries paid $6 million in installment payments required under the terms of its settlement agreement in a large wildfire case that damaged National Forest lands, which was resolved in 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. 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.

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.

Updated December 8, 2015

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