A press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut:
United States Attorney Deirdre M. Daly today announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office collected $11.6 million in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2013.
Of this amount, $4.3 million was collected in criminal actions, $3.8 million was collected in civil actions and an additional $3.5 million was collected through asset forfeiture.
The District of Connecticut also worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect approximately $26 million in cases pursued jointly with these offices.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Thursday that the Justice Department collected approximately $8.1 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2013. The more than $8 billion in collections in FY 2013 represents nearly three times the appropriated $2.76 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices and the main litigating divisions in that same period.
“The Department’s enforcement actions help to not only ensure justice is served, but also deliver a valuable return to the American people,” said Attorney General Holder. “It is critical that Congress provide the resources necessary to match the department’s mounting caseload. As these figures show, supporting our federal prosecutors is a sound investment.”
“Every day, our attorneys and staff work tirelessly to protect the public and seek justice for victims of crime,” said U.S. Attorney Daly. “Often, justice comes in the form of financial restitution, and the funds collected are provided directly to victims of crime. Funds are also used to provide needed services to victims and to fund ongoing federal, state and local law enforcement efforts. I want to specifically acknowledge the dedicated efforts of the Office’s Civil Division and Financial Litigation Unit, which, every year, recover millions of dollars of taxpayer funds.”
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 to state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.
During FY2013, more than $4.3 million was collected for special assessments, fines and restitution from federal criminal offenders who were prosecuted by Connecticut’s U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The largest civil collections were from affirmative civil enforcement cases, in which the U.S. 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.
The Office’s Financial Litigation Unit (FLU) litigates debt collection issues and enforces collection of criminal and civil debts owed to the United States or to victims of federal crime. The FLU enforces collection of civil debts on behalf of federal agencies in litigation that most often involves federal loan programs, civil penalties assessed by federal agencies and civil fraud actions litigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In FY2013, the office collected approximately $3.8 million from Connecticut debtors in satisfaction of their federal civil debts, including False Claims Act recoveries, such as procurement and health care fraud, and civil penalty and debt collection matters such as bankruptcy, student loans and foreclosures.
Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $3.5 million in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2013. Those who are convicted of federal crimes are often subject to criminal asset forfeiture proceedings, whereby the government seizes property that was involved in or represents the proceeds of criminal behavior. Property can also be forfeited through civil forfeiture actions.
The proceeds of 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. In Connecticut, $3.5 million in funds derived through asset forfeiture were provided to local law enforcement under the Equitable Sharing Program.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut is charged with enforcing federal criminal laws in Connecticut, and with representing the federal government in civil litigation in the District. The Office employs approximately 64 Assistant U.S. Attorneys, 45 staff members and 13 contractors at offices in New Haven, Hartford and Bridgeport.