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Press Release

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington Collects over $2,350,216.67 in Civil and Criminal Actions for U.S. Taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2014

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

SPOKANE – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that his office collected $2,350,216.67 in civil and criminal actions in the Fiscal Year ending September 30, 2014. Of this amount, Mr. Ormsby’s office collected $1,546,303.16 in criminal cases and $803,913.51 in civil actions.

United States Attorney General Eric Holder announced on November 19, 2014 that the Justice Department collected $24.7 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2014. The more than $24 billion in collections in FY 2014 represents nearly eight and a half times the appropriated $2.91 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices and the main litigating divisions in that same period.

“Every day, the Justice Department’s federal prosecutors and trial attorneys work hard to protect our citizens, to safeguard precious taxpayer resources, and to provide a valuable return on investment to the American people,” said Attorney General Holder. “Their diligent efforts are enabling us to achieve justice and recoup losses in virtually every sector of the U.S. economy. And this result shows the fruits of the Justice Department’s tireless work in enforcing federal laws; in protecting the American people from violent crime, national security threats, discrimination, exploitation, and abuse; and in holding financial institutions accountable for their roles in causing the 2008 financial crisis.”

The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, along with the Department of Justice’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.

Michael C. Ormsby stated, “The United States Attorney’s Office’s enforcement actions help to not only ensure justice is served, but also to deliver a valuable return to the taxpayer. Attorneys and staff in my office are fully committed to collecting funds owed to victims of crime and to agencies of the federal government through on-going efforts to collect restitution from criminals, debts owed to agencies of the federal government for money borrowed or fines levied and money from government contractors and others who are found to have defrauded the government. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington will continue to prioritize its collection efforts, particularly in these tight financial times.”

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.

Of further note, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $ 667,936.00 in asset-forfeiture actions during Fiscal Year 2014. In aggregate, the Department of Justice collected $4,531,566,571.00 in such actions during the same time period. 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 February 5, 2015