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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 21, 2016

$4.1M Collected in Civil and Criminal Actions for U.S. Taxpayers in FY 2016

PROVIDENCE -  U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced today that the District of Rhode Island collected $4,142,183.02 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2016.  Of this amount, $3,603,251.74 was collected in criminal actions and $538,931.28 was collected in civil actions

Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Rhode Island worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $836,334.27 in cases pursued jointly with these offices. Of this amount, $836,159.27 was collected in civil actions.

Collections in fiscal year 2016 bring the total amount of collections for U.S. taxpayers by the United States Attorney’s Office in Rhode Island over the past three fiscal years to more than $13.4 million dollars ($13,421,689.12).              

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced that the Justice Department collected nearly $15.4 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2016.  The $15,380,130,434 in collections in FY 2016 represents more than five times the appropriated $2.93 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the main litigating divisions of the Justice Department combined in that same 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.  “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.”           

“The mission of this Office is broad and multi-faceted, but at its heart, it is to ensure the safety, well-being and quality of life for all Rhode Islanders,” said United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.  “Whenever federal monies are misspent, there are fewer funds available, for example, for the infrastructure and other public projects this state so desperately needs.  When individuals engage in fraud or manipulative schemes to deprive Rhode Island residents of their hard-earned money, there are often devastating consequences for those individuals and their families.  Accordingly, ensuring that public and private funds are not misspent or stolen, and ensuring that such monies once misspent or stolen are repaid, is critical work, and we will continue to do it to the best of our ability.”

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.

Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Rhode Island, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $2,940,027 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2016.  Forfeited assets deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.

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Contact:

Jim Martin (401) 709-5357

email: USARI.Media@usdoj.gov

on Twitter @USAO_RI

Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
16-120
Updated December 21, 2016