U.S. Attorney’s Office Collects $1,735,238 in Civil and Criminal Actions in FY 2012

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Guam – U.S. Attorney Alicia A.G. Limtiaco, Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, announced Wednesday that the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands collected $1,735,238 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 related to criminal and civil actions. Of this amount, $279,550.21 was collected in criminal actions and $1,455,688.74 was collected in civil actions. Additionally, the office collected $316,428.00 in asset forfeitures.

Nationwide, the U.S. Attorney’s offices collected $13.1 billion in criminal and civil actions during FY 2012, more than doubling the $6.5 billion collected in FYI 2011. A portion of this amount, $5.3 billion, was collected in shared cases in which one or more U.S. Attorney’s offices or department litigating divisions were also involved. The $13.1 billion represents more than six times the appropriated budget of the combined 94 offices for FY 2012.

“During this time of economic recovery, these collections are more important than ever,” said U.S. Attorney Limtiaco. “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.”

During FY 2012, the District of Guam collected over $111,000 from local tax returns. This amount was collected from federal debtors via a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Guam Department of Revenue & Taxation for the offset of local tax returns (Offset Program). The Offset Program was initiated in 2010. These debts include restitution to crime victims that have remained unpaid, some dating as early as 1989. In many cases, the Offset Program has been the only meaningful source for collection of restitution. Guam is the first district nationwide to have an agreement with a local tax authority for the direct offset of local tax returns. The District of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands will be the second district, with its Offset Program with the CNMI Department of Finance, Division of Revenue and Taxation, being implemented in the upcoming months.

The District of Guam also collected $250,000 from local construction companies as settlement of the civil fraud case United States v. Lucky Dragon Development Co., Ltd., et al, Civil Case No. 09-00022.  The $250,000 will be applied towards unpaid wages owed to H2 workers from China in a related 2003 Consent Judgment in Chao v. Ningbo Construction and Industrial Group, et al., Civil Case No. 00-00030.

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.  Statistics indicate that the total amount collected in criminal actions totaled $3.035 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.

The statistics also indicate that $10.12 billion was collected by the U.S. Attorneys’ offices in individually and jointly handled 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.

Additionally, the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $4.389 billion in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2012. Forfeited assets are deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund and Department of Treasury Forfeiture Fund and are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.

The $13.16 billion collected nationwide by the U.S. Attorneys’  Offices for FY 2012 nearly matches the $13.18 billion collected in FY 2010 and FY 2011 combined.

For further information, the United States Attorneys’ Annual Statistical Reports can be found on the internet at http://www.justice.gov/usao/reading_room/foiamanuals.html.