CLEVELAND -- U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach confirmed that Northern District of Ohio collected $23.9 million in 2013 from criminal and civil actions handled exclusively or primarily by the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio, about 150 percent of the office's annual budget.
Of this amount, about $14.4 million was collected in civil actions and about $5 million in criminal actions. Additionally, the office took in about $4.5 million in civil and criminal forfeitures.
The office's total overall budget for this fiscal year was about $16.6 million.
"Once again our office brought in tens of millions of dollars and far surpassed our annual budget," Dettelbach said. "In addition to thwarting terrorism, protecting the environment, enforcing civil rights laws and getting guns off the streets, this office is a profit center for taxpayers. That is one reason why continuing cuts to our budget and staffing level make no sense."
Attorney General Eric Holder said: "The department's enforcement actions help to not only ensure justice is served, but also deliver a valuable return to the American people. 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."
The money is used to compensate crime victims, is distributed to state and local law enforcement partners who participate in investigations and is returned to the general treasury.
Among the largest collections this year:
- EMH Regional Medical Center paid the United States $3,863,857 and North Ohio Heart Center Inc. paid the United States $541,870 to settle allegations that they submitted false claims to Medicare. The settlement resolved allegations that EMH and NOHC performed unnecessary cardiac procedures on Medicare patients. Specifically, the United States alleged the two entities performed angioplasty and stent placement procedures on patients who had heart disease but whose blood vessels were not sufficiently occluded to require the particular procedures at issue.
- Nilesh Patel and Thomas Greco paid a total of $343,158.21 in restitution owed to the Cuyahoga County MetroHealth System arising from their bribery convictions in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
- Kennedy Mint paid $300,000 arising from the company's illegal dumping of cyanide into the Rocky River which resulted in the death of more than 30,000 fish. The Court ordered restitution to the Cuyahoga County Metroparks to restock the river with fish under the terms of the plea agreement.
- Dover Chemical Corporation under the Toxic Substances Control Act at Dover Chemical's facilities in Hammond, Indiania, and Dover, Ohio. The case was settled for a recovery of $1,400,780, of which $700,780 was paid in FY 2013.
Holder announced on Thursday that the Justice Department collected approximately $8.1 billion in civil and criminal actions across the country 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 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.
Here's a complete breakdown of collections in the Northern District of Ohio over past decade:
- 2012: $79.7 million
- 2011: $48.6 million
- 2010: $42 million
- 2009: $17.7 million
- 2008: $36.7 million
- 2007: $63.5 million
- 2006: $80 million
- 2005: $51.4 million
- 2004: $22.3 million