Southern District of Florida U.S. Attorney’s Office Collects $81,953,065.05 in Civil and Criminal Actions for U.S. Taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2017
U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg announced today that the Southern District of Florida collected $81,953,065.05 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2017. Of this amount, $57,410,683.40 was collected in criminal actions and $24,542,381.65 was collected in civil actions.
Additionally, the Southern District of Florida worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $84,495,243.94 in cases pursued jointly with these offices. Of this amount, $23,280.87 was collected in criminal actions and $84,471,963.07 was collected in civil actions.
Overall, the Justice Department collected just over $15 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2017.
U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg stated, “Through great efforts and diligence our office was once again able to secure restitution for crime victims and recover monies for the U.S. taxpayers. We work hard not only to protect the people of our great nation, but to ensure that criminals do not profit from their crime. Today’s numbers reflect that the U.S. Attorney’s Office collects substantially more money than it spends, and provides the taxpayers with an excellent return on their investment.”
For example, the Southern District of Florida recovered $12,000,000 from a not-for-profit hospital to settle allegations that the hospital violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to federal healthcare programs for medically unnecessary cardiac procedures.
In United States v. Goodman, Case No. 07-20871-CR-Seitz, the government recovered $1,474,027.84 from the sale of the criminal defendant’s two luxury condominiums in Costa Rica. In his plea agreement, the defendant agreed to the sale of the Costa Rican properties. The court ordered that the two condominiums be sold and the proceeds applied to Goodman’s restitution judgment.
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 the Southern District of Florida, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $232,327,657.00 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2017. 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.