Vermont U.S. Attorney nets $1.7 million in 2016
BURLINGTON — U.S. Attorney Eric Miller has announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont collected $1,751,875.78 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2016. Of this amount, $923,113.71 was collected in criminal actions and $828,762.07 was collected in civil actions.
Additionally, Vermont worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $161,470.55 in cases pursued jointly with these offices. Of this amount, $16,903.05 was collected in criminal actions and $144,567.50 was collected in civil actions.
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced on Dec. 14 that the Justice Department collected nearly $15.4 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2016. The $15,380,130,434 in collections in FY 2016 represents more than five times the appropriated $2.93 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the main litigating divisions of the Justice Department combined in that same period.
“Every day, the men and women of the Department of Justice work tirelessly to enforce our laws, ensuring that taxpayer dollars are used properly and that the American people are protected from exploitation and abuse,” said Attorney General Lynch. “Today’s announcement is a testament to that work, and it makes clear that our actions deliver a significant return on public investment. I want to thank the prosecutors and trial attorneys who made this year’s collections possible, and I want to emphasize that the department remains committed to the wellbeing of our people and our nation.”
U.S. Attorney Eric Miller added, “As we pursue justice on behalf of Vermonters, our office will continue to seek monetary remedies that impose appropriate punishment on wrongdoers, compensate victims, and protect publicly funded programs from fraud and abuse.”
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 U.S. 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 U.S. Attorney’s office in Vermont, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $1,379,093 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2016. 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.
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