Dec. 23, 2014. U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins announced today that the Western District of North Carolina (WDNC) collected $22,164,212.92 in criminal and civil actions in fiscal-year 2014. Of this amount, WDNC collected $9,677,978.82 in criminal actions and $12,486,234.10 in civil actions.*
Attorney General Eric Holder announced last month that the Justice Department collected $24.7 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2014. The more than $24 billion in collections in FY 2014 represents nearly eight and a half times the appropriated $2.91 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices and the main litigating divisions in that same period.
“Every day, the Justice Department’s federal prosecutors and trial attorneys work hard to protect our citizens, to safeguard precious taxpayer resources, and to provide a valuable return on investment to the American people,” said Attorney General Holder. “Their diligent efforts are enabling us to achieve justice and recoup losses in virtually every sector of the U.S. economy. And this result shows the fruits of the Justice Department’s tireless work in enforcing federal laws; in protecting the American people from violent crime, national security threats, discrimination, exploitation, and abuse; and in holding financial institutions accountable for their roles in causing the 2008 financial crisis.”
“The men and women of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina are dedicated public servants tasked with an important mission: to enforce the laws of our nation and to ensure that criminals do not profit from their illegal activities. I am proud of their hard work and their commitment to recovering taxpayer dollars, securing restitution for victims of federal crimes and protecting the public from fraud, waste and abuse,” said U.S. Attorney Tompkins.
The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, along with the department’s litigating divisions, are responsible for enforcing criminal and civil actions and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the U.S. and criminal debts owed to federal crime victims. Criminal actions comprise criminal fines, special assessments and restitution. The law requires defendants to pay restitution to victims of certain federal crimes who have suffered a physical injury or financial loss. For example, in FY 2014, in US v. Martin, WDNC collected assets and cash from Gary D. Martin totaling $4,656,140.31, to be applied toward restitution for the victims of the scheme. WDNC prosecuted Martin for his involvement in the $32.5 million Queen Shoals Ponzi scheme. Martin was sentenced in March 2013to 10 years in prison and was ordered to pay $31,707,038 as restitution. 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 to state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.
In FY 2014, 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, Small Business Administration and Department of Education. In WDNC, in US vs. Mark Le, the office collected $2.1 million of its $6.2 million civil settlement with Dr. Le, on civil fraud allegations arising from the submission of fraudulent reimbursement claims to Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessary diagnostic tests and procedures.
Additionally, the Western District of North Carolina worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $850,830,833.59 in cases pursued jointly with these offices. Of this amount, $850,786,750 was collected in civil actions and $44,083.59 was collected in criminal actions. In FY 2014, in US v. Bank of America Corp., et al. (Mortgage Services Global Settlement), WDNC shared in on $850 million collected from Bank of America as part of the multi-district settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers – Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Ally. As part of the 2012 settlement, the servicers agreed to pay a $25 billion to resolve allegations of abuse and fraud in mortgage loan servicing and foreclosures.
In addition to the criminal and civil actions, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Western District of North Carolina, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $4,415,201 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2014. 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.
* In measuring collections recovered in FY 2014, the figures necessarily include some cases that were resolved in previous years but the proceeds were collected in FY 2014. Similarly, the FY 2014 figures do not include some cases resolved in the 2014 fiscal year, for which collections will begin in FY 2015.