U.S. Attorney’s Office Collects Over $50 Million in Civil and Criminal Actions in Fiscal Year 2022
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina collected $50,690,774.37 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2022. Of this amount, $11,935,768.98 was collected in criminal actions and $38,755,005.39 was collected in civil actions. The District of South Carolina also worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect $10,438,936.69 in criminal and civil cases pursued jointly by these offices.
“Making crime victims whole, forfeiting property used to commit crimes, and recovering money bilked from our taxpayers are critical components of our justice system,” said U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs. “Our Criminal Division, Civil Division, Asset Forfeiture Unit, and Financial Litigation Unit work day in and day out to claw back ill-gotten gains and ensure victims are compensated, and we will continue to dedicate resources to holding wrongdoers financially accountable.”
In August 2022, Philips RS North America, LLC, formerly known as Respironics, Inc., agreed to pay a total of $24,750,000 to resolve False Claims Act allegations that it provided kickbacks to durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers to induce them to choose Respironics’ respiratory equipment for federal healthcare program beneficiaries. Of the $24,750,000 settlement, state Medicaid programs received $2.13 million. A relator (also known as a whistleblower) disclosed the alleged fraud by filing a qui tam action and received approximately $4.3 million of the federal settlement amount. Additionally, Respironics entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with HHS-OIG.
The matter was handled by Senior Trial Counsel Daniel A. Spiro of the Fraud Section of the Civil Division and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Beth Warren and Johanna Valenzuela of the District of South Carolina. The lawsuit resolved by this settlement is captioned United States, et al., ex rel. Respiratory Care., LLC v. Respironics, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:19-cv-02913-BHH (D.S.C). The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.
Additionally, in United States v. Lavoie et al, Case No. 4:21-cr-00585-RBH (D.S.C.), the U.S. Attorney’s Office recovered $586,805 in restitution owed to the IRS for tax violations. Daniel A. Lavoie and Enrique R. Reyes pleaded guilty to charges related to employment tax fraud and hiring unauthorized aliens. They operated or assisted in the operation of a construction company that used unlicensed check cashers to facilitate under-the-table cash payments to employees, many of whom were unauthorized aliens. The off-the-books payments defrauded the United States out of applicable employment taxes on the employees. Lavoie and Reyes were each ordered to pay $293,402.50 in restitution for tax violations, all of which has been recovered. The matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carrie Fisher Sherard and Anne Hunter Young of the District of South Carolina.
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 collected to federal and state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Carolina, working with partner agencies and divisions, also collected $6,130,476 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2022. 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.
CONTACT PERSON: Brook Andrews, First Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Brook.Andrews@usdoj.gov, (803) 929-3000