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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 21, 2016

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida Collects $42,643,443 in Civil and Criminal Actions for U.S. Taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2016

Miami – U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer announced today that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida collected $42,643,443  in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2016.  Of this amount, $31,939,398 was collected in criminal actions and $10,704,045 was collected in civil actions.

Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $30,323,384 in cases pursued jointly with these offices.  Of this amount, $1,673,163 was collected in criminal actions and $28,650,220 was collected in civil actions. 

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced  on December 14, 2016 that the Justice Department collected more than $15.3 billion in civil and criminal actions in fiscal year (FY) 2016 ending Sept. 30, 2016. The $15,380,130,434 in collections in FY 2016 represents more than five times the approximately $3 billion appropriated 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 U.S. Attorney’s 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 for the Southern District of Florida, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $30,830,421 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 programs.

Updated December 22, 2016