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Press Release

U.S. Attorney’s Office collects nearly $3.5 million in civil and criminal actions for U.S. taxpayers in fiscal year 2015

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – Through a combination of civil and criminal actions, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia collected more than $3 million during fiscal year 2015, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.

The office collected $1,511,869.45 from criminal actions, $1,276,920.11 from civil actions, and $625,132 from civil and criminal asset forfeitures for a total of $3,413,921.56. Additionally, the office collaborated with other United States Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $4,123,362.19 in civil cases pursued jointly with these offices.

“One critical aspect of enforcing the federal laws is to recover funds for victims of crimes and for taxpayers in our communities,” said Ihlenfeld. “Given its proximity to larger metropolitan areas and easy accessibility, the Northern District of West Virginia is particularly impacted by individuals seeking to operate criminal operations purely for financial gain. We remain committed to holding these individuals accountable.”

United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced today that the Justice Department collected $23.1 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015. These collections represent more than seven and a half times the approximately $2.93 billion of the Justice Department’s combined appropriations for the 94 United States Attorney’s 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 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.”

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.

Nationally, 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.

Updated December 3, 2015

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