United States Attorney For Southern District Of Illinois Announces Civil And Criminal Collections In Excess Of $8 Million For Fiscal Year 2013
“My Office Will Continue to Make Crime Pay for the Taxpayers of Southern Illinois”
United States Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton announced today that the Southern District of Illinois collected $8,312,506.02 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2013. Of this amount, $2,081,807.45 was collected in criminal actions and $6,230,698.57 was collected in civil actions. This combined figure is well in excess of the total yearly operating budget for the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois.
Additionally, the Southern District of Illinois worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $341,763,972.25 in cases pursued jointly with these offices. Of this amount, $1,072.23 was collected in criminal actions and $341,762,900.02 was collected in civil actions.
“I will continue to make crime pay for the taxpayers of Southern Illinois. Not only does my office prosecute large numbers of criminals, it actually pays for itself and makes money for all of Southern Illinois. This is why Congress must not allow sequestration cuts to bluntly thwart not only our criminal prosecutions, but the business of making criminals pay back the taxpayers. As these figures show, allowing us to do our work is a sound investment for the taxpayers.” said United States Attorney Wigginton.
As an example, United States Attorney Wigginton pointed out that in January 2013, the Southern District of Illinois recovered $4,250,000.00 as part of the settlement in the American President Lines (APL) matter. In this instance it was alleged that APL billed the United States for, and the United States paid for, various costs associated with the transport and shipment of Army & Air Force Exchange Service and Defense Logistics Agency cargo containers from the United States to military outposts in Afghanistan, when APL’s conduct with respect to certain shipments did not comply with the terms of the contract.
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 Illinois, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $689,598.00 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2013. Forfeited assets are deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund and are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.