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Civil

The United States Attorney's Office represents the United States, its agencies, departments, and their officers in federal and state courts. This litigation falls into one of three areas: Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE), Civil Defensive, and Financial Litigation.

Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE)

The Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE) Unit is part of the office’s Fraud Division. ACE’s work includes pursuing civil actions against individuals and public and private entities that engage in fraud against the federal government (including health care fraud and procurement fraud), violate federal laws, divert controlled substances, or damage federal lands or resources. Cases may be pursued under the False Claims Act, Stark Act, Anti-Kickback Statute or Controlled Substances Act, and various civil environmental statutes and civil rights statutes.  

Fraud

The primary civil weapon against fraud is the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733. Enacted in 1863, the Act allows the United States to collect triple damages and civil penalties of $5,500 to $11,000 (as adjusted for inflation) per violation from persons who submit fraudulent claims for federal monies. This includes health care fraud, procurement fraud, pandemic-relief program fraud, and a variety of other frauds against the federal government.

The False Claims Act also allows citizens who have knowledge of fraud against the government to file a "qui tam" or "whistle blower" lawsuit in the name of the government. 31 U.S.C. § 3730. These complaints by individuals must first be filed under seal to allow the United States time to decide whether to join in the suit. The complaint must be served both on the United States Attorney General and the United States Attorney's Office. The whistle blower is also required to disclose to the government all material evidence supporting the allegations.

If you have information regarding fraud, you may contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation, www.fbi.gov, the Inspector General for the agency affected, or contact the United States Attorney's Office at 859-233-2661.

Civil Rights

ACE also enforces federal civil rights statutes to protect constitutional rights and to enforce federal civil rights statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation, religion, disability, military status, and other protected characteristics in the areas of education, housing, transportation, and employment, among others. Some of the civil rights statutes ACE enforces include the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act, and laws prohibiting patterns and practices of police misconduct. ACE also coordinates with the Criminal Division on criminal civil rights matters, such as hate crimes and police brutality.

Civil Defensive Litigation

The United States Attorney’s Office represents the United States in cases involving claims against the United States, its agencies, officers and employees. Typical cases include personal injuries, medical malpractice, employment discrimination, immigration matters, challenges to federal agency actions, social security claims, constitutional claims against federal officers and employees, and other constitutional claims.

Additionally, the Office also represents federal agencies and their employees in cases involving third party subpoenas. Virtually every federal agency has regulations governing the issuance of subpoenas to the agency and its employees. Third parties subpoenaing these agencies must go through the procedures established by the agency's regulations. Other litigation includes certain "affirmative" claims, such as federal condemnation of property, IRS show cause hearings and claims for reimbursement under the Medical Care Recovery Act.

Financial Litigation

The Financial Litigation Unit collects debts owed to the United States, its agencies, and victims of federal crimes. Federal law authorizes the use of foreclosures, garnishments, attachments, and other remedies.

Typical cases include:

  • Fines, special assessments, restitution, costs, and penalties owed by criminal defendants
  • Defaults on government loans (e.g. education, home improvement mortgage, Small Business Administration)
  • Over-payments made by the United States under various government programs (e.g. Social Security, veterans' benefits, Medicare)
  • Debts owed by to the United States by debtors in bankruptcy (e.g. taxes owed to the IRS)
  • Monies owed to the United States as a result of successful civil fraud prosecutions (such as health care fraud and procurement fraud)
  • Environmental fines and penalties

Payment for most federal criminal cases should be made payable to the Clerk of the Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Payments may be mailed to:

Clerk of the Court
101 Barr Street
Lexington, Kentucky 40507
(859) 514-2219

Payment for most civil debts should be made payable to the U.S. Department of Justice, and delivered to:

U.S. Attorney's Office
for the Eastern District of Kentucky
260 West Vine St., Suite 300
Lexington, Kentucky 40507

Payments may be made by certified check, personal check, money order, or credit card.

If you have questions about payment, please call the Collections Unit, (859) 685-4819.

 

Tiffany K. Fleming, Chief, Civil Division, U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky

Christine Corndorf, ACE Coordinator and Deputy Fraud Unit Chief, U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky

 

Updated October 13, 2022