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Press Release

U.S. Attorney’s Office Collects More Than $14 Million in Fiscal Year 2019

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

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Western District of Oklahoma collected $14,463,175.11 in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2019, announced U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing.  Of this amount, the office collected $9,794,703.57 in civil actions and $4,668,471.54 in criminal actions.

The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, along with the Department of Justice’s litigating divisions, are 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’s Crime Victims Fund, which distributes the funds to federal and state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.

"Recovering money for the United States, penalizing wrong-doers, and collecting restitution for crime victims are integral parts of our law enforcement mission," said U.S. Attorney Downing.  "In FY2019, we collected nearly twice the amounts we collected in both FY2017 and FY2018.  That’s a tribute to the hard work of civil and criminal attorneys, and particularly the hard work of our Financial Litigation Unit."

Highlights of the Western District of Oklahoma’s FY2019 collection efforts include:

  • a $4.2 million civil settlement in June 2019 with PAE Applied Technologies, LLC, in a dispute over alleged false claims to the United States Air Force concerning employee wages at Vance Air Force Base;
  • a $2.8 million civil settlement in May 2019 with the Oklahoma Heart Hospital, LLC, and the Oklahoma Heart Hospital South, LLC, based on allegations of improper Medicaid billing for cardiovascular stent procedures;
  • a $455,000 civil settlement in October 2018 with Olsen Orthopedics, PLLC, over allegations of false billings to Medicare and TRICARE for injectable drugs that were purchased outside the United States and did not have approval from the Food and Drug Administration;
  • multiple settlements of claims against health care providers under federal laws concerning record-keeping and registrations involving drugs that qualify as controlled substances, including a June 2019 settlement for $155,000 with Comanche County Memorial Hospital and two doctors concerning testosterone records;
  • $818,083 in restitution from former Bank of Union President John Arnold Shelley, whose December 2018 sentence for making a false statement to the FDIC included a restitution order of more than $137 million;
  • $493,707.59 in restitution from Joel Matthew Eilerts, who was sentenced in June 2019 for fraud against SandRidge Energy, Inc., where he worked as a senior landman;
  • $269,107.79 in restitution in a criminal health care fraud against Lawrence and Eunja Vasquez, who were sentenced in January 2019 for using their company, Mercy Diabetic Supply, Inc., to defraud the Oklahoma Health Care Authority;
  • $230,333.37 in restitution from the Estate of Howard Michael Wampler in connection with his 2012 conviction for fraudulently inflating the cost of building projects involving federal low-income housing tax credits; and
  • $151,799.02 in restitution from Samuel Okere, who was sentenced in November 2018 for defrauding the Oklahoma Health Care Authority in connection with behavioral counseling.

Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office deposited $1,763,203 into the Department’s Asset Forfeiture Fund in FY 2019.  Many forfeited assets are returned to victims of crime.  When that is not possible, forfeiture proceeds are deposited into a centralized fund and used to assist crime victims across the nation and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.

To download a photo of U.S. Attorney Downing, click here.

Updated December 20, 2019