U.S. Attorney’s Office Returns More Than $235 Million in Fiscal Year 2020 to Crime Victims and the United States Government | USAO-MA
BOSTON – U.S. attorney Andrew E. Lelling announced today that the Massachusetts District raised more than $ 235 million in criminal and civil claims in fiscal 2020. Of that amount, $ 208,282,537 was raised in civil lawsuits, including $ 77,933,472 in reimbursement for crime victims, $ 27,194,175 was raised for criminal activity.
“I am proud of the work civil and law enforcement agencies have done in my office to secure more than $ 235 million in collections, crime victims’ refunds and property loss in 2020 alone,” said US attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “The Massachusetts District has long been a leader in recovering funds in healthcare fraud, securities fraud and civil settlements. We will continue to aggressively pursue collections that give money back to crime victims and US taxpayers, and withhold illicit profits from criminals. “
The 94 US law firms combined raised more than $ 8 billion in civil and criminal justice for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2020. The $ 8,064,931,805 collections in fiscal 2020 is nearly four times the approved budget of $ 2.25 billion for the 94 law firms.
The largest civil law collections came from affirmative civil enforcement cases by the Office of Affirmative Civil Enforcement, reclaiming government money lost through fraud or other criminal offenses. Settlements with three pharmaceutical companies for illegally using third party foundations as a means of paying setbacks make up the Office’s largest civilian collections. Gilead Sciences paid $ 97 million in September 2020, Novartis paid $ 51 million in July 2020 and Sanofi-Aventis paid $ 11.85 million in February.
In addition to these civil and criminal collections, the Office’s Asset Recovery Unit was responsible for the reimbursement of $ 77,933,472 in reimbursements to victims of crime, as well as for the loss of $ 22,449,306 in crime or proceeds in fiscal 2020 other objects involved in criminal offenses. The Asset Recovery Unit locates, confiscates and forfeits the proceeds of crime, including healthcare fraud, securities fraud, postal and wire fraud, drug trafficking, and money and property related to money laundering. The department seeks to lose illicit profits domestically and internationally and works closely with the Office’s departments and its law enforcement partners to ensure that crime doesn’t pay off. Forfeited assets deposited with the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Fund are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.
US law firms, along with the Department’s litigation departments, are responsible for the enforcement and recovery of civil and criminal debts against the United States, as well as criminal debts against victims of federal crimes. The law requires defendants to pay compensation to victims of certain federal crimes who have suffered personal injury or financial loss. While a refund is being paid to the victim, fines and offenses are paid to the ministry’s Crime Victims Fund, which distributes the funds raised to federal and state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.