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Press Release

New Mexico U.S. Attorney’s Office Collects More Than $12 Million in Civil and Criminal Actions for U.S. Taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2015

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Office also Partnered with Other Justice Department Components in Civil Cases that Collected another $78,200,000 in Addition to Collecting More than $2,000,000 in Asset Forfeiture Actions for Total Collections Exceeding $92,300,000

ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez announced today that the District of New Mexico collected $12,080,100.80 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2015.  Of this amount, $2,489,785.93 was collected in criminal actions and $9,590,314.87 was collected in civil actions. 

Additionally, the Office worked with other components of the Justice Department to collect an additional $78,200,000.00 in civil cases pursued jointly.  The Office, working with partner agencies and divisions, also collected $2,039,813.00 in asset forfeiture actions.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced that the Justice Department collected $23.1 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2015.  The more than $23.1 billion in collections in Fiscal Year 2015 represents 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.”

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is dedicated to protecting the public by recovering funds wrongfully taken from the taxpayers and obtaining restitution for victims of federal crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez.  “By holding accountable those who defraud the taxpayers and criminals who seek to profit from their illegal activities, we seek not only to ensure that justice is served but also deliver a valuable return to the people of New Mexico.”

U.S. Attorney Martinez commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys Howard R. Thomas, Ruth F. Keegan, Stephen R. Kotz and Brock Taylor and staff members Julie Chappell, Lois Agnes, Feather Astor, Lois Golden, Melinda Quick and Roxanne Castillo for their combined efforts in recovering funds on behalf of the United States.  He also commended U.S. Marshal Conrad E. Candelaria and the U.S. Marshals Service for facilitating the collection of funds from the criminal and civil forfeiture actions.

The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, along with the Justice Department’s litigating divisions, are responsible for enforcing and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the United States 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 moneys 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.  Forfeited assets deposited into the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Fund are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.

Updated December 3, 2015