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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 3, 2015

Eastern District Of North Carolina U.S. Attorney’s Office Collects $15,047,564.36 In Civil And Criminal Actions For U.S. Taxpayers In Fiscal Year 2015

RALEIGH – United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced today that the Eastern District of North Carolina collected $15,047,564.36 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2015.  Of this amount, $11,011,638.80 was collected in criminal actions and $4,035,925.56 was collected in civil actions.

Additionally, the Eastern District worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $64,395,812.90 in cases pursued jointly with these offices.  Of this amount, $64,323,714.67 was collected in criminal actions and $72,098.23 was collected in civil actions.

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 Sept. 30, 2015.  The more than $23.1 billion in collections in FY 2015 represents more than seven and half times the approximately 2.93 billion of the Justice Department’s combined appropriations for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ 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.”

“The United States Attorney’s Office has made the efficient and effective collection of restitution on behalf of victims of crime a top priority,” stated Mr. Walker.  “Collection of restitution on behalf of the United States is essential during the current budgetary restraints.”

During the past fiscal year the Eastern District of North Carolina has returned millions of dollars to victims of crime.  In one such case, US v. Dwight Lane Woolard, over $540,000.00 was recovered and returned to the Department of Defense. In another case, US v. Clay Taylor Strickland, the office recovered and returned $298,415.00 to the United States Department of Agriculture following Strickland’s conviction.

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 $3,915,737.00 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2015.  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.

Updated December 3, 2015