U.S. Attorney's Office collected $62.3 million in fiscal year 2016
U.S. Attorney Carole S. Rendon announced that the Northern District of Ohio collected more than $62.3 million in fiscal year 2016 from criminal and civil actions.
Approximately $55.2 million was collected in criminal actions and about $7.1 million in civil actions.
The office’s total overall budget for this fiscal year was approximately $14 million.
“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 Loretta Lynch. “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.”
“In addition to locking up violent criminals, strengthening our region’s cyber defense, pushing back on Ohio’s opioid epidemic and other myriad responsibilities, the men and women of the U.S. Attorney’s Office have brought in more than four times our annual budget,” Rendon said. “For more than a decade our office has collected more than we cost the taxpayers.”
The money is used to compensate crime victims, is distributed to state and local law enforcement partners who participate in investigations and is returned to the general treasury.
Among the significant collections this year:
U.S. v. Harold Persaud: Dr. Persaud was convicted in 2015 of one count of health care fraud, 13 counts of making false statements and one count of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from criminal activity. He was ordered to pay $5.4 million in restitution to the Medicare program and private insurers. Persaud has paid all of this money to the court pending the outcome of his appeal.
U.S. v. Peter Luchansky: Peter Luchansky was convicted in 2015 of defrauding a North Canton company of nearly $2.5 million. The USAO has collected $2.4 million of the total debt which has been returned to the victim company.
U.S. v. John Michael Lonergan: Dr. Lonergan was convicted in 2004 of health care fraud and ordered to pay $339,000 in restitution. Lonergan left Ohio after losing his medical license and had paid very little on his debt after his conviction. Thanks to enforced collection efforts by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Lonergan appeared in U.S. District Court and paid $306,842 via a cashier’s check to resolve in full his long-outstanding restitution obligation.
U.S. v. Stephen Varkony: Stephen Varkony was convicted of a conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and ordered to pay $344,551 to the Ohio Department of Taxation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has collected $186,000 of this restitution obligation.
The Justice Department collected approximately $15.3 billion in civil and criminal actions across the country in the 2016 fiscal year.
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. 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.
A complete breakdown of collections in the Northern District of Ohio over past decade is as follows:
2015: $40.7 million
2014: $356.7 million
2013: $23.9 million
2012: $79.7 million
2011: $48.6 million
2010: $42 million
2009: $17.7 million
2008: $36.7 million
2007: $63.5 million
2006: $80 million
2005: $51.4 million
2004: $22.3 million