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Press Release

U.S. Attorney’s Office Collects Over $36 Million in Civil and Criminal Actions in Fiscal Year 2021

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. – U.S. Attorney Michael Easley announced today that the Eastern District of North Carolina collected $36,556,528.37 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2021. Of this amount, $26,265,414.19 was collected in criminal actions and $10,291,114.18 was collected in civil actions.   

Additionally, the Eastern District worked with other U.S. Attorneys Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $1,240,138.15 in cases pursued jointly by these offices. Of this amount, $38,938.15 was collected in criminal actions and $1,201,200.00 was collected in civil actions.              

In the past fiscal year, the Eastern District of North Carolina has recovered millions of dollars for crime victims. For example, in United States v. Treyton Lee Thomas, over $7.2 million was recovered for victims of the defendant’s criminal conduct. In United States v. Adam Frankel, a case involving the manufacturing of child pornography, over $200,000 was recovered from the defendant. 

“We use every legal remedy available to collect victim restitution and criminal fines, and to recover taxpayer dollars lost to waste, fraud, and abuse,” said Mr. Easley.  “Today’s announcement is a testament of the dedication and professionalism of our attorneys and staff in furtherance of that important mission, especially those in our Asset Recovery Unit.” 

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 collected to federal and state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.

Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Eastern District working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $24,506,586.00 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2021. 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. “The forfeiture of assets that facilitate crimes, or which are the fruits of crime, serves an important law enforcement interest, including depriving criminals of the means and reasons for their criminal activity,” Mr. Easley stated.  “The proper use of asset forfeiture can aid in financially disrupting and dismantling criminal organizations and restoring funds to victims of crime.  Our office will continue to do that important work.” 

Updated December 29, 2021