The U.S. Attorney’s Office collected more than $4.95 million in criminal restitution, fines and assessments for the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2017. The Asset Forfeiture Unit collected another $2,147,676 in proceeds and instruments of crime in criminal and civil forfeiture actions.
U.S. Attorney for Idaho Bart Davis said the more than $7.1 million in collections exceeds the office’s annual operational budget.
“Our collection and asset forfeiture staffs of attorneys, paralegals, analysts, and fiscal agents ensure that those who have caused loss to victims pay those victims back and ensure that those who have profited from committing crimes in the District of Idaho are deprived of the proceeds and tools of their crimes,” said Davis. “These same folks also ensure that those who owe the federal government money as a result of litigation in this District or as a result of longtime debt, make appropriate payments. This year, all of these dedicated individuals have done outstanding work and served this office, the taxpayers, and this community well.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office also collected over $898,000 in criminal restitution that was distributed to victims of crime. Other criminal collections such as fines go into the Crime Victims Fund. From there, funds are distributed to the Idaho Crime Victims Compensation Program, the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance, and similar programs across the country. Money recovered from the illegal proceeds of criminal activity through forfeiture is returned to victims, used to offset the costs of operating federal prisons, and shared with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to help fight crime. Other recoveries go back to agency creditors.
Davis said one of the notable collections of the past year was a $30,000 payment for a veteran’s family after the veteran was defrauded of VA and Social Security benefits.
Of the $4.95 million in civil debt collected, $1.1 million was a result of fraudulent procurement of government contracts and another $2.25 million was related to wildfire suppression cost recovery.