Eastern District Of North Carolina United States Attorney’s Office Collects $8,476,074.72 In Civil And Criminal Actions For U.S. Taxpayers In Fiscal Year 2016
RALEIGH – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced that they collected $8,476,074.72 in Civil and Criminal Actions for U.S. Taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2016. Of this amount, $3,313,619.45 was collected in criminal actions and $5,162,455.27 was collected in civil actions.
Additionally, the Eastern District of North Carolina worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $72,417,597.68 in cases pursued jointly with these offices. Of this amount, $10,437.68 was collected in criminal actions and $72,407,160.00 was collected in civil actions.
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced on December 14, 2016 that the Justice Department collected nearly $15.4 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2016. The $15,380,130,434 in collections in FY 2016 represents more than five times the appropriated $2.93 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the main litigating divisions of the Justice Department combined in that same period.
“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 Loretta E. 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.”
EDNC United States Attorney John Stuart Bruce stated: “Our office is proud of its record in collecting money owed to United States and, by extension, American taxpayers. This includes criminal fines, civil judgments, and restitution to crime victims. This record reflects the hard work and professionalism of our attorneys and staff, especially our Financial Litigation Unit.”
The largest single collection action handled by the Eastern District of North Carolina involved illegal Medicare billing by Tuomey hospital in Sumter South Carolina. After two trials and two appeals, it was determined that Tuomey violated the Stark law and the False Claims Act; and the Court awarded a judgment in the amount of $237 million. After it became evident that the hospital could not pay the entire judgment, the Eastern District of North Carolina collected $72.4 million from the hospital to resolve the case
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.
Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Eastern District of North Carolina, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $2,302,748 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.