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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 21, 2016

United States Attorney’s Office Recovers Over $85,000,000 In Fiscal Year 2016

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. ‐ Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that the Western District of New York Office recovered in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, $85,638,249 as a result of wide‐ranging efforts in criminal, civil and asset forfeiture cases. As a result, $5,307,448 was given to victims of crime in the past year, while $2,066,693 was provided as aid to state and local law enforcement agency partners who worked hand in hand with the office on criminal cases, and more than $3,326,000 was collected in fines. As part of an effort to combat fraud, waste, and abuse directed against the government, the Office collected $74,053,099 in affirmative civil enforcement actions, which include proceedings involving health care fraud, government fraud, foreclosures, and more.

As Acting U.S. Attorney Kennedy characterized it, “while our Office is dedicated to the pursuit of justice at all costs, the fact that our Office took in $85,638,249—an amount which represents more than eight-and-a-half times the amount of money it took to operate our entire Office for the year—shows that we are doing so in what by any measure must be considered a remarkably efficient and cost-effective manner. Considering the fact that our Office employs about 108 people, our total recoveries equate to each employee in the Office individually recovering about $800,000.00 on behalf of the government, I’d say the American public is getting an astounding return on its investment. Not only did we succeed in recovering all of this money for the American taxpayers civilly, we did so while discharging, in the same exemplary manner, our obligation to enforce the criminal laws of the United States and to protect its citizens.” 

Kennedy further noted that over the past seven years, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York has recovered and returned to victims, taxpayers and police agencies more than $407,000,000:

Fiscal Year 2010: $31,800,000
Fiscal Year 2011: $29,300,000
Fiscal Year 2012: $53,600,000
Fiscal Year 2013: $94,220,000
Fiscal Year 2014: $25,000,000
Fiscal Year 2015: $88,000,000
Fiscal Year 2016: $85,600,000

In addition to recovering funds, a total of 80 dangerous firearms and 30 firearm clips, along with ammunition were forfeited in FY 2016 as instrumentalities of criminal conduct in drug and violent gang cases, while 28 computers and electronic media devices—most related to child exploitation cases—were also forfeited.

“From big banks that originated and underwrote federally insured mortgage loans knowing that the borrowers failed to meet certain requirements, to defense contractors who supplied the military with counter-measure flares that used unapproved components, and from drug dealers, to unscrupulous businesspersons, to child predators,” Kennedy said, “our employees worked tirelessly, with our partners in law enforcement, to search high and low for those who sought to divert public funds or misuse property for their personal benefit.”  Kennedy specifically credited the work done by his Office’s Asset Forfeiture and Financial Litigation Unit, under the leadership of Chief Richard D. Kaufman and AUSA Kevin D. Robinson, and his Office’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit, under the leadership of Civil Chief Mary Pat Fleming and AUSA Kathleen A. Lynch.

For further information, the United States Attorneys’ Annual Statistical Reports can be found on the internet at: http://www.justice.gov/usao/reading_room/foiamanuals.html.

Updated December 22, 2016