U.S. Attorney's Office Collects Over Nearly $4 Million In Civil And Criminal Actions For U.S. Taxpayers
HONOLULU –U.S. Attorney Florence T. Nakakuni announced today that the District of Hawaii collected over $3.9 million in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2016. Of this amount, approximately $3.6 million was collected in criminal actions and approximately $300,000 was collected in civil actions. Additionally, the Hawaii USAO worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $1.7 million in civil cases pursued jointly with these offices.
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced on December 14, 2016, that the Justice Department collected nearly $15.4 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2016. The $15,380,130,434 in collections in FY 2016 represents more than five times the appropriated $2.93 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the main litigating divisions of the Justice Department combined in that same period.
"Every day, the men and women of the Department of Justice work tirelessly to enforce our laws, ensuring that taxpayer dollars are used properly and that the American people are protected from exploitation and abuse," said Attorney General Lynch. "Today’s announcement is a testament to that work, and it makes clear that our actions deliver a significant return on public investment. I want to thank the prosecutors and trial attorneys who made this year's collections possible, and I want to emphasize that the department remains committed to the well-being of our people and our nation."
In April and August 2016, for example, the District of Hawaii recovered $1,225,000 from Doorae Shipping Co., LTD, a South Korean maritime operations company. In April, as a result of convictions on two criminal charges relating to the unauthorized discharge of over 500 gallons of oily machinery space bilge water directly into the ocean, the office recovered $950,000, consisting of a $750,000 fine and $200,000 as a community service payment. In August, the office recovered an additional $275,000 as a result of another conviction relating to failure to document inappropriate storage of 5,400 gallons of oil contaminated bilge water and the location of approximately 8,400 gallons of machinery space oil contaminated bilge water.
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.
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.