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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 15, 2016

Western District of Virginia U.S. Attorney’s Office Collects $9,663,834 in Civil and Criminal Actions for U.S. Taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2016

Roanoke, VIRGINIA – United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. announced today that the Western District of Virginia collected $9,663,834 in criminal and civil actions in fiscal year 2016. Of this amount, $9,266,499 was collected in criminal actions and $397,334 was collected in civil actions.

Additionally, the Western District of Virginia worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $7,775,772 in cases pursed jointly with these offices. Of this amount, $1,541,247, was collected in criminal actions and $6,234,475, was collected in civil actions.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced yesterday that the Justice Department collected nearly $15.4 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016. The $15,380,130,434 in collections for FY 2016 represents more than five times the appropriated $2.93 billion 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.”

“I am proud of our office’s work in collecting money from criminals,” United States Attorney Fishwick said today.  “The lawyers and staff here work diligently to deprive criminals of their ill-gotten gains and to recover funds for crime victims.”

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.

Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Western District of Virginia, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $8,531,233 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2016. Forfeited assets deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Funds are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.

Updated December 15, 2016