SHREVEPORT/LAFAYETTE/MONROE/ALEXANDRIA/LAKE CHARLES, La. – United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced today that the Western District of Louisiana collected $4,849,432 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2018. Of this amount, $4,169,901 was collected in criminal actions and 679,530 was collected in civil actions.
Additionally, the Western District of Louisiana worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $83,116,403 in cases pursued jointly by these offices. Of this amount, $3,270 was collected in criminal actions and $83,113,133 was collected in civil actions. The district also handled $87,605 in asset forfeiture actions during FY 2018.
“I want to thank our staff in our civil and criminal divisions for their hard work on these cases and collecting monies owed to the United States and crime victims,” Joseph stated. “We will continue to work on a daily basis to locate and collect any and all money owed to taxpayers and to those whose lives have been impacted by crime.
The civil recoveries in the Western District of Louisiana include $82,319,000 in civil penalties for CITGO Petroleum Corporation’s gross negligence in discharging 2.2 million gallons of oil into U.S. waterways in violation of the Clean Water Act. Additionally, the District received $362,961 in restitution to be paid to the Internal Revenue Service from defendant Gary Scott in June of 2018. Scott was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced in 2013.
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.
As a whole, the Justice Department collected nearly $15 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2018. The $14,839,821,650 in collections in FY 2018 represents is nearly seven times the appropriated $2.13 billion ($2,136,750,000) budget for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices.
“The men and women of the U.S. Attorneys’ offices across the country work diligently, day in and day out, to see that the citizens of our nation receive justice,” said Director James A. Crowell, IV, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys. “The money that we are able to recover for victims and this country as a whole is a direct result of their hard work.”
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, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Internal Revenue Service, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.