U.S. Attorney's Office Collects Over $10 Million In Civil And Criminal Actions for U.S. Taxpayers
News Release from US DoJ, December 3, 2015
HONOLULU –U.S. Attorney Florence T. Nakakuni announced today that the District of Hawaii collected over $7.8 million in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2015. Of this amount, approximately $7.7 million was collected in criminal actions. Additionally, her office worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $2.3 million in civil actions pursued jointly with these offices.
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch previously announced today that the Justice Department collected $23.1 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2015. The more than $23.1 billion in collections in FY 2015 represents more than seven and a half times the approximately $2.93 billion of the Justice Department’s combined appropriations for the 93 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the main litigating divisions in that same period.
"The Department of Justice is committed to upholding the rule of law, safeguarding taxpayer resources, and protecting the American people from exploitation and abuse," said Attorney General Lynch. "The collections we are announcing today demonstrate not only the strength of that commitment, but also the significant return on public investment that our actions deliver. I want to thank the prosecutors and trial attorneys who made this achievement possible, and to reiterate our dedication to this ongoing work."
In January 2015, for example, the District of Hawaii recovered $1 million from Matson Terminals, Inc. as a result of convictions on two criminal charges relating to the unauthorized discharge of approximately 233,000 gallons of molasses into Honolulu Harbor in September 2013. The $1 million consisted of a $400,000 fine and $600,000 in restitution, the latter divided equally between the Waikiki Aquarium to support Coral Programs and Invasive Algae Clean-ups and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii to inspire local communities to care for coastlines through beach clean-ups.
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 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.
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