U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Collection and Enforcement Efforts Exceed $65 Million in Fiscal Year 2023

For Immediate Release

U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. – United States Attorney Carlton S. Shier, IV announced today that, in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2023, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky collected more than $42 million for crime victims and taxpayers, and obtained civil settlements totaling more than $23 million through its affirmative civil enforcement efforts.

“Our office remains dedicated to pursuing restitution for victims of crime, recovering illegally obtained funds, and protecting taxpayer dollars from fraud, waste, and abuse,” said United States Attorney Shier.  “These collection and enforcement numbers demonstrate that commitment.  I want to commend the dedicated personnel in our Office, for their persistent efforts to protect our citizens and safeguard the public fisc.”

In fiscal year 2023, the U.S. Attorney’s Office collected $29,691,324 through its Financial Litigation Program.  This Program is responsible for collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the United States, and criminal restitution debts owed to federal crime victims who have suffered a physical injury or financial loss.  While criminal restitution is paid to victims, criminal fines and assessments are paid to the Department of Justice’s Crime Victims Fund, which distributes the funds to federal and state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.   

Additionally, due to successful asset forfeitures in fiscal year 2023, the U.S. Attorney’s Office secured $10,755,308 for federal law enforcement efforts, shared $2,140,829 with state and local law enforcement agencies, and restored $1,129,515 to crime victims.  In asset forfeiture actions, the United States seizes money and property that were proceeds of crime or used in furtherance of a crime.  Forfeited assets deposited into the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Fund are used for a variety of law enforcement purposes.  Funds shared with state and local agencies reflect the degree of their participation in law enforcement efforts resulting in forfeiture. When money or property is forfeited by a defendant who also owes restitution, the Office can ask that the value of the forfeited property be paid to the victim to make him or her whole. 

The Office’s Civil Division also protects the interests of the United States in cases involving property on which the government holds a lien.  In fiscal year 2023, the Office collected $1,185,624 on behalf of taxpayers in such cases.

Finally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement program obtained civil settlements valued at $23,460,815.  Over $4.4 million of this amount represents civil penalties paid by healthcare providers who violated the Controlled Substances Act, a federal law that aims to protect the public’s health and safety from dangers posed by highly addictive or dangerous controlled substances that are diverted into the illicit market.  The remainder of these settlements – exceeding $19 million – were obtained through enforcement of the False Claims Act, which is a federal law that imposes treble damages and penalties on those who knowingly and falsely claim money from the United States.  The False Claims Act thus serves to safeguard government programs that provide health insurance, support American businesses and workers, offer disaster and other emergency relief, and provide many other critical services and benefits.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office’s False Claims Act recoveries contributed to a record-breaking year for the Department of Justice, which had its highest number of False Claims Act settlements and judgments in a single year, exceeding $2.68 billion.

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