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Justice News

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

Monday, December 19, 2016

United States Attorney for Western District Of Oklahoma Involved in Collecting Nearly $33 Million in Fiscal Year 2016

Total Includes Over $25.5 Million Collected in Cases by District Alone and Over $7.3 Million More in Asset Forfeiture

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma -- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma was involved in collecting a total of $32,930,718.06 in civil and criminal cases and through asset forfeiture in Fiscal Year 2016, announced Mark A. Yancey, United States Attorney. 

The Western District of Oklahoma collected $25,579,014.06 in criminal and civil actions handled by the district.  Of this amount, $19,944,021.01 was collected in criminal actions and $5,634,993.05 was collected in civil actions.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office also worked with partner agencies and divisions to collect an additional $7,351,704  in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2016.  Forfeited assets deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced today that the Justice Department collected more than $15.3 billion in civil and criminal actions in fiscal year (FY) 2016 ending Sept. 30, 2016. The $15,380,130,434 in collections in FY 2016 represents more than five times the approximately $3 billion appropriated budget for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the main litigating divisions of the Justice Department combined in that same period. 

"Every day, the men and women of the Department of Justice work tirelessly to enforce our laws, ensuring that taxpayer dollars are used properly and that the American people are protected from exploitation and abuse," said Attorney General Lynch.  "Today’s announcement is a testament to that work, and it makes clear that our actions deliver a significant return on public investment.  I want to thank the prosecutors and trial attorneys who made this year's collections possible, and I want to emphasize that the department remains committed to the well-being of our people and our nation."

"My office was involved in recovering over $25.5 million in criminal and civil cases alone in fiscal year 2016 – slightly more than double the amount collected last year," said U.S. Attorney Yancey.  "This total includes the recovery of tax dollars taken by fraud and restitution for victims of crime.  As always, I am extremely proud of these tremendous results and of the exceptional work of the talented women and men in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, particularly in our Asset Recovery Unit."

Significant Collection Cases in the Western District of Oklahoma

In December of 2015, property owned by Julie Ann Smith was forfeited and sold yielding $135,274 to be applied to her restitution debt.  Smith was convicted by a jury of committing bank fraud, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, forged securities, and filing a false tax return and was sentenced in March 2015 to serve 94 months in prison and pay $1,237,939 in restitution.  Efforts to collection amounts remaining for restitution are on-going.

In May of 2016, Larry Sanford Waters, of Edmond, was sentenced to serve 12 months and a day for check forgery and signing a false federal income tax return.  In addition, he was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine and $296,707 in restitution.  He made a total payment of $396,707 at sentencing.  

In June of 2016, Fedcare, LLC, and The Broadway Clinic of Tulsa, LLC, paid $2,500,000 to the United States to settle civil claims stemming from allegations that the clinics violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Workers Compensation Programs (DOL-OWCP).  Specifically, the government alleged that that the claims submitted to DOL-OWCP for medical services furnished to federal employees of fourteen federal agencies were false because they were either (1) billed at a higher rate than allowed or (2) not performed at all.

In June of 2016, property owned by Daniel Bowling was sold and $945,802.61 was applied to his restitution debt.  Bowling was convicted by a jury of committing bank fraud in November of 2007 and was sentenced in August 2008 to serve eight months in prison and pay restitution. 

 In July of 2016, Bell Contracting, Inc., and Redlands Contracting, LLC paid $1,398,967.84 to settle civil claims stemming from allegations that the companies negligently caused a fire that damaged the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Comanche County, Oklahoma.

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, Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Labor, Small Business Administration and Department of Education.

Updated December 19, 2016