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NEW: Google Lawsuit Helps U.S. Attorney Collect over $512 Million for RI in FY 2012

Thursday, December 06, 2012

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced today that his office collected $512,461,182 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 related to criminal, civil and asset forfeiture actions, including $500 million forfeited by Google, Inc., following an investigation into its advertising practices.
In FY 2012, the office collected $504,131,322 in criminal and civil forfeitures; $2,717,567 was collected in criminal actions; and $5,612,293 was collected in civil actions.

United States Attorney Peter Neronha commented, “I am pleased that, working with our state, local, and federal partners, we have been able over the past year to bring the kinds of cases that have a real impact on the safety and well-being of all Rhode Islanders, whether by prosecuting those who violate their oath, who take financial advantage of others, or who commit crimes of violence, or by recovering money from those who owe a financial debt to victims or taxpayers generally.”
Nationwide, the U.S. Attorneys’ offices collected $13.1 billion in criminal and civil actions during FY 2012, more than doubling the $6.5 billion collected in FY 2011. A portion of this amount, $5.3 billion, was collected in shared cases in which one or more U.S. Attorneys’ offices or department litigating divisions were also involved. The $13.1 billion represents more than six times the appropriated budget of the combined 94 offices for FY 2012.
Additionally, the U.S. Attorneys’ offices, working with partner agencies and divisions, forfeited $4.389 billion in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2012.
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. Statistics indicate that the total amount collected in criminal actions totaled $3.035 billion in restitution, criminal fines, and felony assessments. 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 directly 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 statistics also indicate that $10.12 billion was collected by the U.S. Attorneys’ offices in individually and jointly handled civil actions. 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, and Small Business Administration.

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