U.S. Attorney's Office Collects More Than $15 Million for U.S. Taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2016
LEXINGTON, Ky. — U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey announced today that his office collected more than $15,765,000 in Fiscal Year 2016. Of this amount, more than $8,214,000 was collected in criminal actions and more than $7,551,000 was collected in civil actions.
In addition to funds collected solely by the United States attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Harvey’s office worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect $3,353,000 in cases pursued jointly with those offices. Of this amount, $2,370,500 was collected in criminal actions and more than $982,000 was collected in civil actions. Federal FY 2016 ran from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016.
“Federal law enforcement in the Eastern District of Kentucky is a wise investment for the taxpayers,” said Harvey. “Our top priority will always be to enforce the laws which keep Americans safe. We are pleased, however, that our efforts also enhance and protect the public treasury, while securing restitution for crime victims. Last year, we recovered an amount representing more than twice our office’s annual budget in fines, forfeitures, and restitution. We will continue to work hard every day to be good stewards of the resources allocated for our use.”
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced earlier this month that the U.S. Department of Justice collected nearly $15.4 billion in civil and criminal actions in FY 2016. This amount represents more than five times the 2016 appropriated $2.93 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the litigating divisions of the Justice Department, combined.
“Every day, the men and women of the Department of Justice work tirelessly to enforce our laws, ensuring that taxpayer dollars are used properly and that the American people are protected from exploitation and abuse,” said Attorney General Lynch. “Today’s announcement is a testament to that work, and it makes clear that our actions deliver a significant return on public investment. I want to thank the prosecutors and trial attorneys who made this year’s collections possible, and I want to emphasize that the department remains committed to the well-being of our people and our nation.”
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 United States 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.
In addition to these collections, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky, working with partner agencies and divisions, also collected more than $12,356,000 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2016. 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.