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North Alabama U.S. attorney collects more than $9 million in civil, criminal actions in 2018

Brandon Moseley

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U.S. Attorney Jay Town announced Thursday that the Northern District of Alabama collected $9,044,060.80 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2018. Of this amount, $7,221,160.63 was collected in criminal actions, and $1,822,900.17 was collected in civil actions.

Additionally, the Northern District of Alabama worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $1,651,100.00 in cases pursued jointly by these offices.

The U.S. Justice Department, as a whole, collected nearly $15 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending September 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.

“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,” said Director of Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys James Crowell. “The money that we are able to recover for victims and this country as a whole is a direct result of their hard work.”

“The prosecutors and support staff in my office strive each day to put criminals behind bars and protect the public fisc, and the collection of civil and criminal debts is an essential part of that,” Town said. “The forfeitures collected shows our continued commitment to pursue the recovery of those ill-gotten gains so that victims of crime, and the federal treasury can be given restitution. We will continue to do so aggressively.”

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. The law requires that defendants 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. 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.

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