District Of Montana Collects $14.1 Million In Civil & Criminal Actions In FY 2014
HELENA - U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter announced today that the Montana United States Attorney's Office collected $14.1 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 related to criminal and civil actions and an additional $3.4 million related to criminal and civil forfeiture. In some of these cases, the U.S. Attorney's Office worked in conjunction with litigating components of the U.S. Department of Justice.
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. Generally, these debts are judgments, either civil judgments or criminal judgments entered by the federal court. Criminal judgments consist of fines and restitution. 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 directly 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.
Occasionally, assets from criminals are forfeited by court action. Forfeiture proceeds are often distributed back to local law enforcement to assist them in the protection of Montana communities or to the victims of crime. Forfeited assets include currency or bank accounts, real property and cars purchased with illegal proceeds or used to facilitate crimes, guns held by convicted felons, and computers used for child pornography. Seized property is sold and the money deposited into the government accounts used to restore money lost by crime victims.
Across the country, the United States Attorneys' offices collected $24 billion from criminal and civil actions during FY 2014, which is far more than the $2.91 billion appropriated budget of the combined 93 USAOs offices for fiscal year 2014. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Montana is credited with collecting $2.4 million in relation to criminal actions brought by the office. Approximately $11.7 million was collected related to civil matters, with over $4 million related to healthcare fraud, and $1.3 million in relation to civil environmental violations. In addition $3.4 million was collected in criminal and civil forfeiture cases.
“The efforts of this office to serve the people of Montana will continue. Reduced resources will make it more difficult to maintain the same level of service for law enforcement protection, for public safety or the protection of the public purse. But this office is committed to maintaining the highest ideals of public trust and public service despite those challenges.” --- U.S. Attorney Mike Cotter.