U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling announced this week that the District of Massachusetts collected more than $5.213 billion in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2018. Of this amount, more than $4.9 billion was collected by the District alone – $25,028,095 in criminal actions, and $4,906,284,211 in civil actions.
The District of Massachusetts also worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $282,208,233 in cases pursued jointly. As a whole, the Justice Department collected nearly $15 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2018. The $14,839,821,650 in collections in FY 2018 represents nearly seven times the appropriated $2.13 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices.
In addition to these civil and criminal collections, the District of Massachusetts was also responsible for the forfeiture of $20,788,659 in criminal proceeds, or other property involved in crimes, in Fiscal Year 2018.
“I’m proud of the work the prosecutors in my office have done to secure more than $5 billion in civil and criminal collections, and asset forfeitures, in 2018 alone,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “The District of Massachusetts has long been a leader in financial recoveries in the areas of health care fraud, securities fraud and civil settlements, and we will continue to aggressively pursue collections that return money to victims of crime and U.S. taxpayers, and that deprive criminals of their ill-gotten gains.”
“The men and women of the U.S. Attorneys’ offices across the country work diligently, day in and day out, to see that the citizens of our nation receive justice. The money that we are able to recover for victims and this country as a whole is a direct result of their hard work,” Director James A. Crowell, IV, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys.
In August 2018, the District of Massachusetts announced a $4.9 billion settlement with the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, which was the largest penalty ever imposed on a single entity by the Justice Department for financial crisis-era misconduct.
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 collected to federal and 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, or fines for other fraudulent conduct. In addition, civil debts were collected on behalf of several federal agencies, including the U.S. 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.