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Press Release

U.S. Attorney's Office Collects $129,598,713.70 In Civil And Criminal Actions For Crime Victims And U.S. Taxpayers In Fiscal Year 2015

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina



CHARLOTTE, N.C. - U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose announced today that the Western District of North Carolina (WDNC) collected $129,598,713.70 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2015 (FY 2015).  Of this amount, $12,327,951.04 was collected in criminal actions and $117,270,762.66 was collected in civil actions.* 


Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced on Thursday, December 3, 2015, that the Justice Department collected $23.1 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2015. The total includes all monies collected asw a result of Justice Department-led enforcement actions and negotiated. civil settleents. It includes more than $16.2 billion in payments made directly to the Justice Department, and more than $6.8 billion in indirect payments made to other federal agencies, states and other designated recipients.  Collections in FY 2015 represent more than seven and a half times the approximately $2.93 billion of the Justice Department's combined appropriations for the 94 U.S. Attorney's Offices and the main litigating divisions in that same period.

“The lawyers and staff of this Office work diligently to protect the citizens of our district and deliver justice.  We also strive to ensure that criminals are not enriched by their conduct, criminal and civil debts are recovered, and restitution is paid to victims of crimes.  A portion of the recovered funds is also returned to the federal treasury to support much needed victim services and to fund ongoing federal, state and local law enforcement efforts and initiatives,” said U.S. Attorney Rose.  “It is important to highlight that as a federal agency the Department of Justice, through the work of its employees, collects seven and a half times the amount it costs to run the agency.  I would call that a good return on the public’s investment,” Rose added.

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.  While restitution is paid to victims, 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.

In December 2002, in US v. Reid (3:02-cr-169), Douglas W. Reid was sentenced to 51 months in prison for his involvement in an investment fraud scheme. In FY 2015, $4,118,255 was collected and applied toward the restitution ordered by the court, closing the debt in this case.

In U.S. v. Simmons (3:10-cr-23), WDNC collected $3,055,938, and the money was transferred to the U.S. Clerk of Court to be distributed to victims in this criminal case.  Keith Franklin Simmons and his conspirators orchestrated a Ponzi scheme that defrauded 400 victims of more than $40 million.  A total of 11 defendants were convicted in connection with this case, with the mastermind of the scheme, Simmons, currently serving a 40-year sentence.  Also in FY 2015, in U.S. v. Le (3:14-cr-110) the office collected $1,041,288.52 from Dr. Le, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison in September 2015, on healthcare fraud and tax evasion charges. 

In FY 2015, 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.  The Western District of North Carolina conducted a joint investigation with the Justice Department’s Civil Division into Adventist Hospital system, which resulted in a recovery of $115 million for the Medicare program. The investigation was based on two qui tam complaints filed in the Western District of North Carolina. 

Additionally, the Western District of North Carolina also worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $9,166,511,236.73 in cases pursued jointly with these offices.  Of this amount, $5,694,936.73 was collected in criminal actions and $9,160,816,300 was collected in civil actions.  For example, in FY 2015, WDNC collected $5,600,250 million as part of Duke Energy Carolinas LLC and Duke Energy Progress Inc.’s settlement with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of North Carolina. 

Additionally, working with partner agencies and divisions, WDNC collected $12,015,903 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2015.  Forfeited assets deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund are used, among other purposes, to restore funds to crime victims.

* In measuring collections recovered in FY 2015, this figure necessarily includes some cases that were resolved in previous years but the proceeds of which were collected in FY 2015.

Updated December 9, 2015