Federal prosecutors based in Los Angeles collected more than $317 million in criminal, civil and forfeiture actions in fiscal year 2018, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Included in the total amount of $317,453,521 collected during the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30 was $61.2 million in restitution and fines ordered in criminal cases, more than double the amount recovered in fiscal year 2016, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The majority of that money was owed to victims of federal crimes, and some of the money helps fund programs that support victim services.

Last year’s collections also include more than $235 million worth of assets forfeited to the United States for crimes committed both here and abroad, including more than $100 million recovered as part of an ongoing international political corruption investigation.

Prosecutors in the Asset Forfeiture Section also collected millions of dollars — including cash, numerous high-end and collectible vehicles and residential properties — from a parking lot operator who defrauded the Veterans Administration.

Forfeited assets — money and the proceeds of property that will be sold — are deposited into the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Fund, and that money is used to compensate crime victims and fund a variety of law enforcement activities, including federal task forces and education initiatives, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The balance of the money collected during the preceding fiscal year — $21.2 million — was secured through civil enforcement matters in which prosecutors recovered federal funds lost primarily through fraud or other misconduct.

The office’s Civil Division worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and colleagues in Washington, D.C., to collect an additional $162.2 million in civil cases that were pursued in conjunction with the other Justice Department components, a figure that includes a $65 million settlement with Prime Healthcare Services and its CEO to resolve allegations of Medicare fraud, according to the office.

“We are focused on securing restitution for crime victims, recovering taxpayer money obtained by fraud, and stripping criminals of their ill-gotten gains,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna. “The hundreds of millions of dollars we recovered in 2018 stand as a tribute to the tenacity and hard work of our prosecutors and staff.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California is based in Los Angeles and has branch offices in Santa Ana and Riverside. Currently, about 275 assistant U.S. attorneys serve about 20 million people who reside in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.