United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina Collects Over $12 Million in Civil and Criminal Actions in Fiscal Year 2017, and $4.8 Million in Asset Forfeiture Actions
RALEIGH – Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announced today that his office collected over $12 million in criminal and civil actions in fiscal year 2017. Of this amount, $7,115,289.63 was collected in criminal actions and $5,008,219.81 was collected in civil actions.
The Eastern District of North Carolina also collaborated with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $581,492.70. Of this amount, $59,927.77 was collected in criminal actions and $521,564.93 was collected in civil actions.
Overall, the Justice Department collected just over $15 billion in civil and criminal actions in fiscal year 2017.
In the past fiscal year, the Eastern District of North Carolina has returned millions of dollars to crime victims. For example, in United States v. William Larry Rogers, over $695,000 was recovered in victim restitution. Additionally, in United States v. Ronald Doerrer, over $550,000.00 was recovered for victims of the defendant’s criminal conduct.
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. For example, in United States v. James Taggart, $995,000.00 was recovered for the Health and Human Services’ Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In addition, civil debts were collected on behalf of several federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Internal Revenue Service, Small Business Administration and Department of Education.
“We will use every tool in our arsenal to aggressively collect victim restitution and criminal fines, and recover taxpayer dollars lost to fraud and owed to government agencies,” said Mr. Higdon. “We are proud of the men and women in our office who have worked so hard to ensure justice through their collection efforts. They are to be congratulated for their tremendously successful efforts.”
The U.S. Attorney’s 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 the victims of federal crimes. 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.
Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of North Carolina, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $4,800,593.00 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2017. 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. Mr. Higdon stated, “asset forfeiture serves an important law enforcement interest, and we will continue to aggressively forfeit instrumentalities and fruits of criminal conduct.”