CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – United States Attorney Kevin W. Techau recently that the Northern District of Iowa collected $16,332,696 million in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, more than twice the office’s direct budget. Monies collected are returned to the federal treasury and victims of crimes.
Civil collections come from the government pursuing money lost to fraud, overpayments, or other misconduct, or collection of fines imposed on individuals and/or corporations for violations of federal financial, health, safety, civil rights, and environmental laws. Criminal collections involve actions related to victim restitution, fines, and court costs.
The total $16 million collection effort is made up of the following:
$8,690,693 was collected in criminal actions, which included victim restitution, fines, and court costs; and
$7,642,003 was collected in civil actions. These civil actions are cases in which the office, acting on its own or with other components of DOJ, obtained judgments and settlements and collected those judgments and settlements; or where the office collected monies from individuals who failed to pay financial obligations owed to the United States.
In measuring collections recovered in FY 2015, these figures necessarily include some cases that were resolved in previous years but the proceeds of which were collected in the fiscal year 2015.
The top criminal collection involves Austin “Jack” DeCoster, his son Peter DeCoster, and their company, Quality Egg LLC. The criminal case involved bribery of a public official, introducing a misbranded food into interstate commerce with intent to defraud, and introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. Adulterated eggs produced and distributed by Quality Egg were linked to approximately 1,939 reported consumer illnesses in multiple states—a nationwide outbreak of salmonellosis that led to the August 2010 recall of millions of eggs produced by them. In addition to both DeCosters being sentenced to serve prison time and fined $100,000, their company was sentenced to pay a fine of $6.79 million.
The top civil collection for the Cedar Rapids Office resulted from a settlement with ResCare Iowa Inc., which agreed to pay $5.63 million to the United States and the State of Iowa to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by submitting false home healthcare billings to the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, Kevin W. Techau, reinforced the importance of these collections, indicating “The recovery of ill begotten funds for the federal treasury and for victims of crimes is a top priority. I am very proud of the office’s efforts to hold accountable those who wrongfully profit at the expense of the United States.”
Nationally, the Department of Justice (DOJ) collected $23.1 billion in civil and criminal actions in fiscal year (FY) 2015. The amount collected represents more than seven and a half times the approximately $2.93 billion of the department’s combined appropriations for the 94 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the main litigating divisions in that same period.
The 23.1 billion includes all monies collected as a result of Justice Department-led enforcement actions and negotiated civil settlements. It includes more than $16.2 billion in payments made directly to the Justice Department, and more than $6.8 billion in indirect payments made to other federal agencies, states and other designated recipients.