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U.S. Attorney’s Office Contributed to $6.68 Billion in Civil and Criminal Collections in Fiscal Year 2010
Recoveries Largest in History

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 16, 2010
  • Western District of New York (716) 843-5700

BUFFALO—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced that financial collections by the Department of Justice in criminal and civil actions in fiscal year (FY) 2010 reached an all-time high due to the efforts of the U.S. Attorneys’ offices nationwide. The 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices nationwide contributed to the collection of $6.68 billion during the government’s fiscal year. This is the most successful collection year by the U.S. Attorneys’ offices.

According to statistics from the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York contributed to the collection of $31,435,177 in FY 2010. Of this amount, $2,549,864 was collected in criminal actions and $28,885,313 was collected in civil actions. Specifically, $25,876,407 of this amount was collected in Health Care Fraud litigation, a priority of the Department of Justice. Additionally, the office also collected $7,681,326 in criminal and civil forfeitures, including over $800,000 being returned to victims of crime and $826,151 being shared with state and local law enforcement partners with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“During this time of economic recovery, these collections are more important than ever,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “Americans work very hard for their money and the U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting that hard earned money. Anyone who attempts to victimize others and profit financially from their illegal activities will be caught and prosecuted. By fully utilizing our nation’s forfeiture laws, our office not only takes the profit out of crime, it returns money to both victims and taxpayers.”

The U.S. Attorneys’ offices are responsible for enforcing and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the United States and criminal debts owed to federal crime victims. Statistics from the Department of Justice indicate that the total amount collected in criminal actions totaled $2.84 billion in restitution, criminal fines, and felony assessments. 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 directly 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.

Additionally, the U.S. Attorneys’ offices contributed to the collection of $1.8 billion in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2010. Forfeited assets are deposited into either the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund or the Department of Treasury Forfeiture Fund and are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.

The statistics also indicate that $3.84 billion was collected in civil actions. 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, and Small Business Administration.

The nationwide collection totals for FY 2010 represent nearly a 30 percent increase in criminal collections and 57 percent increase in civil collections over FY 2009. In FY 2009, the U.S. Attorneys’ offices contributed to the collection of more than $4.6 billion. Of the amount collected, $2.23 billion was collected criminally and $2.44 billion was collected civilly. The significant increase in collections was due to various large criminal restitution cases as well as large health care fraud cases.

For further information, the Department’s Annual Statistical Reports can be found on the Internet at http://www.justice.gov/usao/reading_room/foiamanuals.html.

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