U.S. Attorney's office in Eastern Tenn. rakes in $24.8 million
U.S. Attorney William C. Killian. Photo courtesy Knoxville News Sentinel
KNOXVILLE, TN (WRCB) -- U.S. Attorney William C. Killian announced today that the Eastern District of Tennessee collected $24,837,866.29 in Fiscal Year 2012 related to criminal and civil actions. Of this amount, $2,287,640.79 was collected in criminal actions and $22,550,225.50 was collected in civil actions. Additionally, the office collected $7,156,513.00 in criminal and civil forfeitures.
Nationwide, the U.S. Attorneys' offices collected $13.1 billion in criminal and civil actions during FY 2012, more than doubling the $6.5 billion collected in FY 2011. A portion of this amount, $5.3 billion, was collected in shared cases in which one or more U.S. Attorneys' offices or department litigating divisions were also involved. The $13.1 billion represents more than six times the appropriated budget of the combined 94 offices for FY 2012.
"During this time of economic recovery, these collections are more important than ever," said U.S. Attorney Killian. "The U.S. Attorney's Office is dedicated to protecting the public and recovering funds for the federal treasury and for victims of federal crime. We will continue to hold accountable those who seek to profit from their illegal activities."
This past September the Eastern District of Tennessee recovered $16.5 million from HCA Inc. in settlement of alleged violations of the Ethics in Patient Referrals Act (a.k.a. the Stark law) and the False Claims Act. The settlement concerned allegations that certain of HCA's financial arrangements relating to its subsidiaries Parkridge Medical Center, Inc., and HCA Physician Services violated the Ethics in Patient Referrals Act and the Anti-Kickback Statute – laws designed to protect patients as well as the integrity of government-funded health care benefit programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, and TennCare.
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. Statistics indicate that the total amount collected in criminal actions totaled $3.035 billion in restitution, criminal fines, and felony assessments. 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 directly 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 statistics also indicate that $10.12 billion was collected by the U.S. Attorneys' offices in individually and jointly handled civil actions. 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, and Small Business Administration.
Additionally, the U.S. Attorneys' offices, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $4.389 billion in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2012. 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.
The $13.16 billion collected nationwide by the U.S. Attorneys' offices for FY 2012 nearly matches the $13.18 billion collected in FY 2010 and FY 2011 combined.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:54 AM EDT2013-05-22 11:54:16 GMT
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