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Federal prosecutors brought in $8.1 billion during 2013

on January 15, 2014 10:29 AM

PITTSBURGH — U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton announced Tuesday that the Western District of Pennsylvania collected $24,480,775.61 in criminal and civil actions during 2013. Additionally, the Western District of Pennsylvania worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $5,702,777.80 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 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 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.”

“Recovering monies due the American taxpayer is a priority and we have made substantial progress improving our performance over the last three years,” Hickton said. “The $24.4 million collected in 2013 represents an 86.2 percent increase over last year’s collections of $13.1 million. Collections related to civil actions rose 58 percent, to $22.9 million from $9.6 million in 2012. Overall, in 2013, we collected more than twice the amount of money the federal government allocates us to operate our office.”

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.

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.

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