Recoveries Largest in History

U.S. Attorney Thomas Scott Woodward announced Thursday that financial collections by the Department of Justice U.S. Attorneys’ offices in criminal and civil cases across the nation reached an all-time high. Nationwide, the ninety-four U.S. Attorneys’ offices contributed to the collection of $6.68 billion during the government’s fiscal year – FY 2010 (Oct 1, 2009 to Sept 30, 2010), making it the most successful collection year so far.

According to statistics from the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma located in Tulsa collected $16,992,406 in FY 2010.  Of this amount, $1,560,160 was collected in criminal cases and $15,432,246 was collected in civil cases.  Health Care Fraud accounted for $13,229,348 of the civil collections. Additionally, the office also obtained orders for forfeiture of $52,444,127 in criminal and civil cases, of which $1,177,554 has been paid to victims.

“During this time of economic recovery, these collections are more important than ever,” said U.S. Attorney Woodward.   The U.S. Attorney’s Office is dedicated to protecting the public and recovering funds for the federal treasury and for victims of federal crime.  We will continue to hold accountable those who seek to profit from their illegal activities.

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 cases 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 collected $1.8 billion in asset forfeiture cases 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 cases.  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% increase in criminal collections and 57% increase in civil collections over FY 2009. In FY 2009, the U.S. Attorneys’ offices collected 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 by clicking here.