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Justice Department collects more than $8 billion in civil and criminal cases in 2013

This news story was published on January 11, 2014.
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WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder today announced that the Justice Department collected at least $8 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2013.

“The department’s enforcement actions not only help to 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.”

The statistics indicate that in FY 2013, approximately $5.9 billion was collected by the department’s litigating divisions and 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 and collected fines imposed on individuals and/or corporations for violations of federal health, safety, civil rights or environmental laws. This number includes approximately $3.2 billion related to health care fraud and more than $430 million related to environmental cases. In addition, civil debts were collected on behalf of several federal agencies, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Internal Revenue Service, the Small Business Administration and the Department of Education.

The Justice Department’s litigating divisions and U.S. Attorneys’ offices are also responsible for enforcing and collecting criminal debts owed to the U.S. and criminal debts owed to federal crime victims. In FY 2013, the total amount collected in criminal actions totaled approximately $2.2 billion in restitution, criminal fines and felony assessments. This total included more than $450 million in criminal fines associated with health care fraud, more than $600 million in antitrust violation fines, more than $390 million in fines for environmental violations and more than $42 million in fines for tax fraud violations.

The approximately $8.1 billion taken in by the department as a whole in FY 2013 represents nearly three times the approximately $2.76 billion of the department’s direct appropriations that pay for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and its main litigating divisions.

The total includes all monies collected as a result of Justice Department-led enforcement actions and negotiated civil settlements. It includes more than $5.48 billion in payments made directly to the Justice Department, and $2.61 billion in indirect payments made to other federal agencies, states and other designated recipients.

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