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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Southern District of Florida U.S. Attorney’s Office Collects Close to $85 Million in Civil and Criminal Actions for U.S. Taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2014

U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer announced today that the Southern District of Florida collected $39,972,936.93 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2014. Of this amount, $35,262,477.55 was collected in criminal actions and $4,710,459.38 collected in civil actions.

Additionally, the Southern District of Florida worked with other U.S. Attorneys’ offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $44,362,280.04 in cases pursued jointly with these offices. Of this amount, $12,622.83 was collected in criminal actions and $44,349,657.21 was collected in civil actions.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced on November 19, 2014 that the Justice Department collected $24.7 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2014. The more than $24 billion in collections in FY 2014 represents nearly eight and a half times the appropriated $2.91 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices and the main litigating divisions in that same period.

“Every day, the Justice Department’s federal prosecutors and trial attorneys work hard to protect our citizens, to safeguard precious taxpayer resources, and to provide a valuable return on investment to the American people,” said Attorney General Holder. “Their diligent efforts are enabling us to achieve justice and recoup losses in virtually every sector of the U.S. economy. And this result shows the fruits of the Justice Department’s tireless work in enforcing federal laws; in protecting the American people from violent crime, national security threats, discrimination, exploitation, and abuse; and in holding financial institutions accountable for their roles in causing the 2008 financial crisis.”

U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “I am proud of the men and women of our office through whose diligence we are able to secure restitution for crime victims and recover monies for the U.S. taxpayers. They 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.”

Within the last 6 months, the Southern District of Florida recovered in excess of $600,000,000 from the sale of properties belonging to the Defendants who agreed before sentencing to tender the properties towards restitution. This was possible due to the joint effort of the AUSA who handled the criminal case and the Financial Litigation Unit.

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 $33,305,397.00 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2014. 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.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Updated March 19, 2015