U.S. Attorney’s Office Collected Nearly $60 Million in Civil, Criminal and Asset Forfeiture Actions in Fiscal Year 2016
CHICAGO — The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois collected nearly $60 million in criminal, civil and asset forfeiture actions in Fiscal Year 2016, Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, announced today.
The 2016 collections included $16,872,634 in criminal actions, $11,240,052 in civil actions, and $31,823,808 in asset forfeiture actions. The total of $59,936,494 is more than double the Office’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget of approximately $28.6 million. The total includes more than $3.6 million in criminally forfeited drug proceeds from convicted members of the Sinaloa Cartel, and more than $200,000 in administrative and criminal forfeitures arising from the prosecution of Steven M. Brazile, a corporate executive who used fraud proceeds to operate a classic car business.
The Office this year was able to restore $15.4 million to victims of federal crimes. It also collected $3,584,521 in criminal and civil cases pursued jointly with other U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and components of the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Our attorneys and staff place a high priority on recovering funds for the federal treasury and for victims of federal crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Fardon. “The Office continues to deliver a valuable return to the taxpayers of our district.”
Nationally, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch recently announced that the Justice Department collected more than $15.3 billion in civil and criminal actions in Fiscal Year 2016, which ended Sept. 30, 2016. This figure represents more than five times the approximately $3 billion budget appropriated to the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the main litigating divisions of the Justice Department in that 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. “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.”
The largest collections nationally 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 or corporations for violations of federal health, safety, mortgage, financial, 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.