North Alabama U.S. Attorney’s Office Collects $5.09 Million in Civil and Criminal Actions for U.S. Taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2016
BIRMINGHAM -- U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance announced today that the Northern District of Alabama collected $5.09 million in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2016. Of this amount, about $3.7 million was collected in criminal actions and $1.4 million in civil actions.
Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for north Alabama worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $1.1 million in civil actions pursued jointly.
“Seeking justice is the primary objective of the U.S. Attorney's Office," Vance said. "The people in my office pursue that goal every day, working to put criminals behind bars and to ensure that money taken through wrongful action is returned to the federal government and to victims of crime. In addition, we are dedicated to being good stewards of the public trust and the funding our office is given to do our work.”
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced on Wednesday that the Justice Department collected nearly $15.4 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. The FY 2016 collections represent 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 for the fiscal year.
“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,” Lynch said. “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.”
One of the largest single collections by the Northern District of Alabama U.S. Attorney’s Office this past year was $1.5 million received as part of the $5.9 million court-ordered restitution in the case of William Maurice Campbell Jr. and three co-defendants. Campbell, at the time of the crime, was state director of a college consortium of business development centers. A federal jury convicted him in 2011 on 96 counts related to his scheme to defraud the State of Alabama of more than $7 million. In 2012, a federal judge sentenced Campbell to more than 15 years in prison and ordered the restitution. Campbell appealed the conviction and sentence, which were upheld by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in September 2014.
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 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.
Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for north Alabama, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $934,607 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2016. 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.