U.S. Attorney's Office Collects more than $10.7 Million in Civil, Criminal, Asset Forfeiture Actions in FY 2014
SHREVEPORT/LAFAYETTE/ALEXANDRIA/LAKE CHARLES/MONROE, La.: United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana collected $10,732,350 through civil, criminal, and asset forfeiture actions in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014.
Of the total amount, $6,406,530 was collected in criminal actions and $515,884 was collected in civil actionsThe U.S. Attorney’s Office worked with various other offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $1,166,498.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department collected $24.7 billionin civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending September 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.
Included in the FY 2014 criminal collections, the Western District of Louisiana recovered $948,249.11 from Lake Charles Dr. Lynn Foret. The doctor was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Haik on December 17, 2013, to 12 months imprisonment and three years of supervised release in addition to the restitution amount for health care fraud. From 2003 to 2009, Foret injected his patients’ knees with a steroid solution while falsely billing and receiving payments from Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies for a more costly drug called Hyalgan.
Also included in the FY 2014 civil collections, are the Western District of Louisiana Financial Litigation Unit’s recovery of $290,969.71 in court-ordered restitution from Kirby Cole, which will be distributed to the victim, the Phillips Foundation. To date, $1,287,323.10 in restitution has been collected. Cole was sentenced in Shreveport by U.S. District Court Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. in April of 2010 to pay the total restitution of $2,040,715 for mail fraud associated with his work at the Phillips Foundation, where he was trustee of the charitable organization.
The U.S. Attorneys’ Office is responsible for enforcing and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the United States 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 of Justice 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.
“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.”
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is dedicated to protecting the public and recovering funds for victims of federal crime and for the federal treasury,” stated U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley. “Victims depend on our office to collect restitution. We will continue to make every effort to collect restitution on behalf of victims and hold accountable those who seek to profit from illegal activities.”