U.S. Attorney’s Office Collects more than $6 million in Civil and Criminal Actions in Fiscal Year 2023
BILLINGS — U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich announced today that the District of Montana collected $6,041,422 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2023. Of this amount, $1,876,130 was collected in criminal actions and $4,165,292 was collected in civil actions.
Additionally, the District of Montana worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $52,813,479 in cases pursued jointly by these offices. Of this amount, the Department of Justice collected $48,185,752 from Atlantic Richfield Co. and $4,627,717 from Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
“These collections come from both criminals who owe victims money, as well as those who owe debts or civil penalties to the American taxpayer. After we obtain criminal convictions or civil judgments, our office’s financial litigation program is tasked with ensuring money is paid to victims and as these numbers reflect, they have great success. Their service is essential to executing our criminal and civil judgments, and I thank them for their tireless work and dedication to crime victims and the American people,” U.S. Attorney Laslovich said.
Funds collected from civil judgments include:
- $2,940,474 from Dr. David Bellamah and Bellamah Vein & Surgery for settlement of alleged False Claims Act violations.
Funds collected from criminal judgments include:
- $184,457 from Rodolfo “Nick” Gutierrez, Jr., who paid his victims in full, with interest. Gutierrez was convicted of bank fraud in 2010. Collected from real property in Texas which he had transferred without paying his victims.
- $178,814 from Gene Klamert, which included full restitution and a $35,000 fine for defrauding the Bureau of Land Management.
- $100,000 from U.S. Minerals, Inc., which was convicted of negligent endangerment for exposing workers to arsenic at its former Anaconda plant.
- $91,556 from Aaron Grossman, which included full payment of his restitution and a $20,000 fine for false statements to a government agency.
- $66,050 from Anna Niles, who was convicted of wire fraud. Collected in part through turnover of Niles’s non-exempt retirement account.
- $41,482 from Melissa Horner, who was convicted of failing to pay IRS employment taxes.
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.
Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $485,202 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2023. 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.
Clair J. Howard
Public Affairs Officer
Press Release Number: 24-41