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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 3, 2015

United States Attorney for Western District of Oklahoma Involved in Collecting Over $45.2 Million in Fiscal Year 2015

Total Includes Over $12 Million Collected in Cases by District Alone, Over $1 Million in Cases Worked Jointly with DOJ Components, and Nearly $32 Million 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 $45,210,641.42 in civil and criminal cases and through asset forfeiture in Fiscal Year 2015, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney. 

The Western District of Oklahoma collected $12,277,349.50 in criminal and civil actions handled by the district.  Of this amount, $3,374,634.80 was collected in criminal actions and $8,902,714.70 was collected in civil actions.  Additionally, the Western District also worked with other U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $1,158,621.92 in civil cases pursued jointly with these offices.  

Finally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office also worked with partner agencies and divisions to collect an additional $31,774,670 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2015.  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 $23.1 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015.  The more than $23.1 billion in collections in FY 2015 represents more than seven and a half times the approximately $2.93 billion of the Justice Department’s combined appropriations for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the main litigating divisions in that same period

"The Department of Justice is committed to upholding the rule of law, safeguarding taxpayer resources, and protecting the American people from exploitation and abuse," said Attorney General Loretta Lynch.  "The collections we are announcing today demonstrate not only the strength of that commitment, but also the significant return on public investment that our actions deliver.  I want to thank the prosecutors and trial attorneys who made this achievement possible, and to reiterate our dedication to this ongoing work."

"My office was involved in recovering over $45.2 million in fiscal year 2015 – a 24% increase over the prior year," said U.S. Attorney Coats.  "This total includes the recovery of tax dollars taken via 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 Cases in the Western District of Oklahoma

In October of 2014, Ocean Dental, P.C, agreed to pay $5,050,000 to settle civil claims stemming from allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by submitting false Medicaid claims for dental services that were either never performed or billed at a higher rate than allowed.

In January of 2015, Computer Sciences Corporation agreed to pay $380,000 to settle civil claims stemming from allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to the United States Air Force in connection with a contract to provide aircraft maintenance services on hydraulic actuators in Air Force aircraft at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Hydraulic actuators power various systems and functions in the aircraft such as the landing gear, vertical/horizontal stabilizers and flaps.

In April of 2015, Wes Yui Chew and his company, Icon Telecom, Inc., both of Edmond, Oklahoma, were sentenced for money laundering and making a false statement to the Federal Communications Commission in connection with the federal Lifeline Program that provides wireless service for qualifying low-income customers.   In addition to being required to serve 48 months in federal prison, Chew and Icon agreed not to contest the forfeiture of more than $27 million seized during the investigation. Oscar Enrique Perez-Zumaeta, of Cancun, Mexico, who owned and managed PSPS Sales LLC, a California entity that recruited low-income individuals to apply for Lifeline service through Icon, also pled guilty to money laundering and was sentenced to serve 42 months in prison.

In August of 2015, East Central Family Health Center, located in Wetumka, Oklahoma, agreed to pay $825,000 to settle civil claims stemming from allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by submitting false Medicaid claims related to behavioral health services furnished to Medicaid patients of non-FQHC health care providers and who were not East Central patients.

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, Small Business Administration and Department of Education.

Updated February 4, 2016