(STL.News) – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today that the Southern District of Indiana collected $10,176,838.17 in criminal and civil actions and asset forfeiture in Fiscal Year 2019. Of this amount, $5,115,032.05 was collected in criminal actions, $1,760,111.12 was collected in civil actions, and $3,301,695 was collected in asset forfeiture funds.
Additionally, the Southern District of Indiana worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $7,422.73 in cases pursued jointly by these offices. Of this amount, $6,405.75 was collected in criminal actions and $1,016.98 was collected in civil actions.
“In addition to prosecuting criminals, defending government agencies, and providing civil enforcement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is responsible for collecting debts owed to the government and victims of crime,” said Minkler. “The goal of the U.S. Attorney’s Office is to make crime victims whole again.”
The Asset Recovery Unit is comprised of two units: the Financial Litigation Unit (FLU) and the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU). The two units joined forces in 2012 to form the Asset Recovery Unit. Both of these sectors are significant to tax payers because they collect debts owed to the United States government and to victims of crime.
The FLU is responsible for collecting civil and criminal debts that are owed to the United States and victims of crime in a timely, aggressive, and effective manner. Cases opened in the FLU remain open years past their initial debt, but that does not stop new cases from being opened. Forfeiture funds are 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.
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.