RALEIGH, N.C. – Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announced today that his office collected over $13.5 million in criminal and civil actions in fiscal year 2018. Of this amount, $8,410,643.89 was collected in criminal actions and $5,113,040.40 was collected in civil actions. Additionally, over $4.6 million was collected in asset forfeitures.
The Eastern District of North Carolina also collaborated with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $13,983.13. Of this amount, $5,733.13 was collected in criminal actions and $8,250 was collected in civil actions.
Overall, the Justice Department collected nearly $15 billion in civil and criminal actions in fiscal year ending on September 30, 2018. The $14,839,821,650 in Fiscal Year 2018 collections is nearly seven times the appropriated $2.13 billion ($2,136,750,000) budget for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices.
“The men and women of the U.S. Attorneys’ offices across the country work diligently, day in and day out, to see that the citizens of our nation receive justice. The money that we are able to recover for victims and this country as a whole is a direct result of their hard work,” Director James A. Crowell, IV, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys.
In the past fiscal year, the Eastern District of North Carolina has returned millions of dollars to crime victims. For example, in United States v. Justin Lawrence Daniel, over $2.3 million was recovered for victims of the defendant’s criminal conduct. In in United States v. Mittesh Das, $750,000 was recovered for victim restitution and paid at the time of sentencing.
The District has also recovered significant taxpayer money lost to fraud or other misconduct, collected civil fines imposed for violations of federal law, and collected civil debts owed to various federal agencies. For example, in United States v. Physicians Pharmacy Alliance, $1.7 million was recovered for the Health and Human Services’ Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services and for the North Carolina Medicaid Program. The United States has recovered an initial payment of $750,000 from Rouseco, Inc, toward a $5.8 million judgment in United States v. Rouseco, Inc.
“We will use every available tool to aggressively collect victim restitution and criminal fines, and recover taxpayer dollars that are either lost to fraud or otherwise owed to government agencies,” said Mr. Higdon. “Asset forfeiture also serves important law enforcement interests, and we will continue to aggressively forfeit the proceeds of crime and the assets used to facilitate it. We are proud of the men and women in our office who dedicate themselves each and every day to ensuring justice through their collection efforts. They are to be congratulated for their tremendously successful efforts.”
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.
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.
SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on February 14, 2019.