SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO-AM) - United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced today that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Dakota collected over $2.8 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 from civil and criminal actions. Of this amount, over $2.1 million was collected in criminal actions and over $673,000 was collected in civil actions.
Additionally, the District of South Dakota worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $21.7 million in civil actions that were pursued jointly. Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Thursday that the Justice Department collected approximately $8.1 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2013. The more than $8 billion in collections in FY 2013 represents nearly three times the appropriated $2.76 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices and the main litigating divisions in that same period.“The Department’s enforcement actions help to not only ensure justice is served, but also deliver a valuable return to the taxpayer,” said Attorney General Holder. “It is critical that Congress provide the resources necessary to match the Department’s mounting caseload. As these figures show, supporting our federal prosecutors is a sound investment.”“In these times of fiscal uncertainty, the revenue generated from these collections becomes increasingly more important,” said U.S. Attorney Johnson. “U.S. Attorneys’ Offices not only protect the public, but also collect more money on behalf of the American taxpayer than they spend.” The most significant joint recovery case was Cyprus Mines Corporation, which resulted in over $18 million being collected for the U. S. Department of Treasury. The Homestake Mining case was the second largest recovery for the District of South Dakota, with an amount in excess of $3.7 million.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.