The United States Attorney's Office For The Eastern District Of Washington Collects Over $3,463,400.00 In Civil And Criminal Actions For U.S. Tax Payers In Fiscal Year 2013
Spokane – Today, Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that his office collected $3,463,490.16 in civil and criminal actions in the Fiscal Year ending September 30, 2013. Of this amount, his office collected $2,552,474.86 in civil actions and $911,015.30 in criminal cases. Mr. Ormsby also announced that during this same period his office worked with components of the Department of Justice and other United States Attorney's Offices to collect an additional $201,901,500.00 in civil actions pursued jointly.
In addition, United States Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that the United States Department of Justice collected approximately $8.1 billion in civil and criminal actions during the same Fiscal Year 2013. The more than $8 billion in collections in Fiscal Year 2013 represents nearly three times the appropriated $2.76 billion budget for the 94 United States Attorney's Offices and the Department of Justice's main litigating divisions in that same period.
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 United States 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.
"The Department's enforcement actions help to not only ensure justice is served, but also deliver a valuable return to the taxpayer," said Attorney General Holder. "It is critical that Congress provide the resources necessary to match the Department's mounting caseload. As these figures show, supporting our federal prosecutors is a sound investment."
Michael C. Ormsby said, "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." Mr. Ormsby went on to identify, by way of just one example of the successful collection efforts in the Eastern District of Washington, "the $18,500,000.00 that was collected during Fiscal Year 2013from CH2M Hill, a contractor at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation."
The $18,500,000.00 referred to by Mr. Ormsby relates to a matter the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Washington pursued jointly with the Department of Justice's Civil Frauds component (included above as part of the jointly pursued civil actions). This collection resulted from the settlement of an investigation of fraudulent time card practices. The investigation was conducted by the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Energy with early participation from the United States Attorney's Office, and supported by crucial assistance and support from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Civil Frauds component of the Department of Justice. This was the largest civil settlement for fraudulent activity by a contractor at the Hanford site ever achieved in Eastern Washington. The settlement also included provisions aimed to reduce the possibility of fraud in future practices by this contractor and all other contractors working at the Hanford site.