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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 3, 2015

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Collects Over $ 255 Million in Civil and Criminal Actions for U.S. Taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2015

ATLANTA – U.S. Attorney John A. Horn announced today that the Northern District of Georgia collected $255,099,419 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2015.  Of this amount, $12,171,472 was collected in criminal actions and $242,927,947 was collected in civil actions. 

Additionally, the Northern District of Georgia worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $498,040,851 in cases pursued jointly with these offices.   Of this amount, $12,708 was collected in criminal actions and $498,028,143 was collected in civil actions.   The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia ranks seventh among districts in the country for collections for which it was directly responsible and sixth in the country for overall collections-both direct and shared.     

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced on December 3, 2015, that the Justice Department collected $23.1 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2015.  Collections in FY 2015 represent more than seven and a half times the approximately $2.93 billion of the Justice Department’s combined appropriations for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the main litigating divisions in that same period. 

“The Department of Justice is committed to upholding the rule of law, safeguarding taxpayer resources, and protecting the American people from exploitation and abuse,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch.  “The collections we are announcing today demonstrate not only the strength of that commitment, but also the significant return on public investment that our actions deliver.  I want to thank the prosecutors and trial attorneys who made this achievement possible, and to reiterate our dedication to this ongoing work.”

“As reflected in this year’s collection figures, financial enforcement is an integral part of our office’s efforts to combat fraud and other crimes from every angle,” said U. S. Attorney John Horn.  “With the help of partner agencies, we continue to root out efforts to cheat the public and the government and to hold the perpetrators financially accountable.”

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.  For example, over $212 million dollars was recovered by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in a settlement with First Tennessee Bank, N.A. to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by knowingly originating and underwriting mortgage loans insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Federal Housing Administration that did not meet applicable requirements.  In addition, civil debts were collected on behalf of other federal agencies, including the Health and Human Services, Internal Revenue Service, Small Business Administration and Department of Education.

One of the largest criminal collections for FY2015 was recovered in United States v. Rupert Morgan for theft of government funds from the Social Security Administration and Veterans Administration.  Over $213,000 was recovered in the case through garnishment of the defendant’s investment accounts.   The United States also recovered over $127,000 for DeKalb County and the World Congress Center in United States v. Cecil Clark, a case involving conspiracy to commit bribery.

Additionally, the Asset Forfeiture section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $16,979,004.00 in forfeited funds and restored to victims $1,362,679 in FY 2015.  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.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Updated February 4, 2016