U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma issued the following announcement on Feb. 14.
U.S. Attorney Trent Shores announced that the Northern District of Oklahoma collected $2,159,920 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2018, representing a jump in collections as compared to Fiscal Year 2017. Of this amount, $1,258,097 was collected in criminal actions and $901,833 was collected in civil actions.
Additionally, the Northern District of Oklahoma worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $8,609,640 in cases pursued jointly by these offices. Of this amount, $2,879 was collected in criminal actions and $8,606,760 was collected in civil actions.
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 is nearly seven times the appropriated $2.13 billion ($2,136,750,000) budget for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices.
U.S. Attorney Shores stated, “The United States Attorney’s Office diligently collected this money on behalf of American taxpayers and victims of crime. The recovered monies go directly to crime victims to help compensate them for their physical injuries or financial loss. To all those who owe money to the United States as the result a criminal or civil debt, there will be a day of accounting. You will pay out of pocket or through the forfeiture of your criminally obtained assets. This U.S. Attorney’s Office will see victims wholly restored, restitution and fines paid in full, and civil financial obligations satisfied.”
“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 one case, the court ordered a criminal defendant to pay $153,610.35 in restitution. After release from prison, the Northern District of Oklahoma’s U.S. Attorney’s Office doggedly pursued the defendant and, through garnishment, asset hearings and seizure of retirement accounts, collected the total amount of restitution. In another criminal case, a defendant was ordered to pay restitution of $79,942.52. Though the office is still pursuing collection in the case, significant amounts have been recovered using the Treasury Offset Program, which allows the government to intercept tax refunds.
The civil False Claims Act is an important tool used to protect the integrity of taxpayer-funded health care programs and allows the government to address losses it sustains by providing for civil monetary penalties. In 2018, the U.S. Attorney’s Office assessed such a penalty against a nurse involved in pharmacy kickbacks. The nurse immediately began making payments voluntarily to pay off her debt of more than $130,000.
Original source can be found here.