U.S. Attorney’s Office For The Eastern District Of Tennessee Collects $ 41,677,882.32 In Civil And Criminal Actions For U.S. Taxpayers In Fiscal Year 2015
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - U.S. Attorney William C. Killian announced today that the Eastern District of Tennessee collected $41,677,882.32 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2015. Of this amount, $2,268,837.64 was collected in criminal actions and $ 39,409,044.68 was collected in civil actions.
Additionally, the Eastern District of Tennessee worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $795,366.68 in cases pursued jointly with these offices. Of this amount, $531.00 was collected in criminal actions and $794,835.68 was collected in civil actions.
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced on Dec. 3, 2015 that the Justice Department collected $23.1 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2015. Collections in FY 2015 represent more than seven and a 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 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 financial, health, safety, civil rights and 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.
The total includes all monies collected as a result of Justice Department-led enforcement actions and negotiated civil settlements. It includes more than $16.2 billion in payments made directly to the Justice Department, and more than $6.8 billion in indirect payments made to other federal agencies, states and other designated recipients.
In measuring collections recovered in FY 2015, this figure necessarily includes some cases that were resolved in previous years but the proceeds of which were collected in FY 2015.
"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.”
“Civil and criminal monetary penalties provide additional deterrence to those involved in violating federal laws. The U.S. Attorney’s Office works very hard to insure that taxpayers’ money is collected and returned to the federal coffers. Also, our stringent enforcement of civil and criminal monetary penalties, provide an additional level of punishment for the offenders,” said U.S. Attorney Bill Killian.
This past fiscal year, the Eastern District of Tennessee recovered $38,400,000 as part of a $92,000,000 settlement against Pilot Flying J for the company’s role in a complex rebate fraud scheme. As a civil collection, these funds go into the General Treasury Fund.
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.
Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Eastern District of Tennessee, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $2,493,887.00 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.