MADISON, WIS. – U.S. Attorney Scott C. Blader announced today that the Western District of Wisconsin collected $12,805,080.63 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2017. Of this amount, $2,373,882.59 was collected in criminal actions and $10,431,198.04 was collected in civil actions.
Additionally, the Western District of Wisconsin worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $150,002,543 in cases pursued jointly with these offices. Of this amount, $150,000,000 was collected in a civil action.
Overall, the Justice Department collected just over $15 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2017.
“This Office works hard to collect money owed both to crime victims and to the United States in criminal and civil cases,” said United States Attorney Blader. “It is critical that we hold criminal defendants responsible for their wrongdoings, and ensure companies and individuals that violate federal laws, or owe the government money, are held financially accountable for their actions.”
For example, in April 2017, Prestige Healthcare agreed to pay the United States almost $1 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act with regard to its role in an alleged scheme to falsely bill Medicare for unnecessary genetic testing of elderly patients at its nursing homes in Wisconsin and other states.
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 United States 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 to 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, Health and Human Services, Internal Revenue Service, Small Business Administration and Department of Education.
Additionally, the Western District of Wisconsin, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $852,159 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2017. Forfeited assets deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.