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Press Release

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington Collects $8,186,767 in Civil and Criminal Actions for Victims of Crime and U.S. Taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2018

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

Spokane, Washington – Joseph H. Harrington, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that the Eastern District of Washington collected $8,186,767 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2018.  Of this amount, $1,750,262 was collected for victim restitution in criminal actions and $6,436,504 was collected in civil actions.

Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $2,489,999 in civil cases pursued jointly by these offices.          

As a whole, the Justice Department collected nearly $15 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018.  The $14,839,821,650 in collections in FY 2018 represents nearly seven times the appropriated $2.13 billion ($2,136,750,000) budget for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices across the nation.

U.S. Attorney Harrington stated, “Today’s announcement is a testament to the diligent work of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington.  It also sends a strong message that the United States Attorney’s Office will aggressively undertake efforts to ensure that victims are wholly restored, restitution and fines are paid in full, and civil financial obligations are satisfied.”

“The men and women of the U.S. Attorneys’ offices across the country work diligently, day in and day out, to see that the citizens of our nation receive justice.  The money that we are able to recover for victims and this country as a whole is a direct result of their hard work,” said Director James A. Crowell, IV, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys.

Examples of criminal and civil collections by the Eastern District of Washington in fiscal year 2018 include:

•Full recovery of restitution to victims in multiple Project Safe Childhood cases, such as United States v. Craig Morgenstern and United States v. Jeffrey Wint;

•Writ of execution sales of three properties resulting in nearly $1,000,000 in restitution and fine recoveries, plus additional civil collection of approximately $340,000 to the IRS and nearly $100,000 to local tax authorities in the matter United States v. J. Scott Vrieling;

•$3.2 million paid by Washington Closure Hanford, LLC in resolution of False Claims Act litigation in connection with small business subcontracts in connection with the Department of Energy’s Hanford nuclear site; and

•$2,489,999 paid by the State of Alaska in resolution of False Claims Act litigation involving States and their private consultants employing improper quality control practices with respect to their SNAP (food stamp) programs.


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.


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, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Internal Revenue Service, the Small Business Administration and the Department of Education.

Updated March 28, 2019