U.S. Attorney R. Trent Shores announced today that the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma (NDOK-USAO) collected $2,034,996.36 in civil and criminal actions in Fiscal Year 2017. Of this amount, $1,028,157.69 was collected in criminal actions, and $1,006,838.67 was collected in civil actions.
Additionally, the NDOK-USAO worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to collect an additional $2,117,948.39 in cases pursued jointly with these offices. Of this amount, $8,623.83 was collected in criminal actions, and $2,109,324.56 was collected in civil actions.
In Fiscal Year 2017, the DOJ collected a total of over $15 billion in civil and criminal actions.
U.S. Attorney Shores stated, “I am pleased to announce my office recovered more than $2,000,000 in criminal and civil actions in FY2017. The dedicated attorneys and staff in the Financial Litigation Unit and Asset Recovery Division should be commended for their efforts. This money can positively impact victims of crime and the DOJ’s Crime Victims’ Fund.”
The NDOK-USAO Financial Litigation Unit (FLU) has a number of tools to collect criminal debts and to ensure that restitution is made to victims. The Treasury Offset Program intercepts tax refunds, and monthly asset hearings are set to identify debtors’ assets. FLU agents also enforce liens and investigate other possible sources of payment for each debtor.
The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, along with the DOJ’s litigating divisions, are responsible for enforcing and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the United States and criminal debts owed to victims of federal crimes. Defendants are required by law to pay restitution to victims of certain federal crimes who have suffered a physical injury or financial loss. While restitution is paid directly to the victim, criminal fines and felony assessments are paid to the DOJ’s Crime Victims’ Fund, which distributes the funds to state victim compensation and assistance programs.
The NDOK-USAO’s largest civil collections were from affirmative civil enforcement cases, in which the United States recovered federal funds 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. Civil debts were also collected on behalf of several other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Internal Revenue Service, the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Education.
Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Northern District of Oklahoma, working with partner agencies and divisions, forfeited $2,332,168 in asset recovery actions in FY 2017. Additionally, criminal forfeiture money judgments were entered totaling $14,484,703 representing proceeds from defendants’ offenses of conviction. During this fiscal year, forfeited assets deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund were used to restore $258,408 to crime victims and $141,882 was used for a variety of law enforcement purposes.