U.S. Attorney’s Office for Western District of Washington Collects more than $11 Million in Civil and Criminal Actions for U.S. Taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2018
Additionally, Nearly $2.2 Million Collected as Forfeited Proceeds of Crime
Seattle - U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran announced today that the Western District Washington collected $11,162,511 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2018. Of this amount, $6,797,143 was collected in criminal actions and $4,365,367 was collected in civil actions.
Additionally, the Western District of Washington worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $39,535,912 in cases pursued jointly by these offices. Of this amount, $15,751 was collected in criminal actions and $39,519,761 was collected in civil actions.
As a whole, the Justice Department collected nearly $15 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2018. The $14,839,821,650 in collections in FY 2018 represents nearly seven times the appropriated $2.13 billion ($2,136,750,000) budget for the ninety-four U.S. Attorneys’ offices.
“While you cannot put a price on justice, sometimes a just result means victims and taxpayers get restitution thanks to the diligent work of our attorneys and professional staff,” said U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. “Even years after the criminal conviction or civil settlement, members of our Financial Litigation Unit work hard to identify assets that should go to those who are victimized by fraud and other crimes.”
“The men and women of the U.S. Attorneys’ offices across the country work diligently, day in and day out, to see that the citizens of our nation receive justice. The money that we are able to recover for victims and this country as a whole is a direct result of their hard work,” Director James A. Crowell, IV, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys.
Some of the largest collections involve false billings and fraud on government programs. In August 2018, International Marine and Industrial Applicators LLC and Marine Equipment Supply LLC paid $2.8 million to settle claims for work which it had fraudulently billed the Navy at Puget Sound Naval shipyards. In a second case, prominent tourist ship captain Paul D. LaMarche paid $354,769 as part of a civil settlement and criminal penalty for defrauding the Railroad Disability program. Some of last year’s collections were from cases prosecuted as early as 2013. Last year, the office secured $114,661 for victims of investment fraud figure Mark Spangler and $188,820 for victims of Enumclaw financial advisor Aaron Travis Beaird.
In addition to restitution and civil settlements, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington forfeited property totaling $2,178,980. That amount includes forfeitures in U.S. v. ONG where the government seized more than $1 million in bitcoin and $235,000 in cash.
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 collected to federal and 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, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Internal Revenue Service, the Small Business Administration, and the Department of Education.