Seattle- U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman announced today that the Western District of Washington collected more than $24 million in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2023. Of this amount, $12,306,908 was collected in criminal actions and $11,958,411 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 $41,493,471 in civil cases pursued jointly by these offices.
“Overall, our collections have increased significantly over prior years and that is a win for taxpayers and crime victims who benefit when we are able to collect restitution and settlement funds,” said U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. “Of particular note is the $40 million settlement in a False Claims Act matter involving telecommunications for health care in Alaska.”
In May 2023, the Western District of Washington recovered $40,252,546 as part of the settlement in the GCI communications False Claims Act Case. The Anchorage Alaska based corporation resolved allegations that it knowingly inflated its prices and violated Federal Communications Commission (FCC) competitive bidding regulations in connection with GCI’s participation in the FCC’s Rural Health Care Program.
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.
Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Western District of Washington working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $4,765,255 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2023. 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.