U.S. Attorney Trent Shores today announced the Northern District of Oklahoma collected $6,409,728.95 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2020. Of this amount, $3,259,066.71 was collected in criminal actions and $3,150,662.24 was collected in civil actions.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Asset Recovery Unit diligently works to ensure that restitution and fines are paid in full and that civil financial obligations are met,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “The more than $6.4 million collected in criminal and civil actions this year reflects our commitment to safeguarding taxpayer resources and ensuring victims of crime receive a full measure of justice, including financial restitution, compensation, and access to victim related services.”
U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, along with the Justice Department’s litigating divisions, are responsible for enforcing and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the United States and criminal debts owed to victims of federal crimes. Defendants are required by law 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 Justice Department’s Crime Victims’ Fund, which distributes the funds to state victim compensation and assistance programs.
Examples of the Northern District of Oklahoma’s FY 2020 Collection Efforts:
- In a 2018, the Court ordered the forfeiture of a Jack Clark’s properties after he was convicted of filing over $10,000,000 in false excise tax refund claims with the IRS. The refunds were used by the defendant, former president of Clark Oil Distributors, Inc., to fuel an extravagant lifestyle. In March 2020, the United States received $1,905,776.29 from the sale of one of those properties.
- Other forfeiture examples include $67,000 and a vehicle as part of Operation Smack Dragon and $7,500 worth of firearms from Operation Ice N Go.
The Asset Recovery Unit also ensures the collection of restitution ordered by the Court for victims of crimes.
- In 2017, the court ordered Mark Long, a defendant who downloaded and viewed child pornography, to pay $24,000 in restitution to the children victimized during the production of the pornography. Through the Inmate Financial Responsibility Program and a large payment after the defendant was released from prison, the victims in this case were paid in full in FY 2020.
- In a second case, Barbara Jo Porter, a member of a philanthropic organization, used the organization’s credit card to withdraw cash for her own personal use. During sentencing, the Court ordered the defendant to pay $20,232.35 in restitution to the organization. The defendant made her final payment in FY2020.
The civil False Claims Act is an important tool used to protect the integrity of taxpayer-funded health care programs and allows the government to address losses it sustains by providing for civil monetary penalties.
- In FY 2020, the U.S. Attorney’s Office civil division assessed such a penalty against a Louisiana physician assistant for accepting illegal pharmacy kickback payments in return for recommending and prescribing compounded drugs from OK Compounding. He entered into a settlement agreement with the United States, agreeing to pay $620, 508.36.
- In another settlement agreement, a Texas doctor agreed to pay the United States $300,000 to resolve False Claims Act allegations that he accepted illegal kickback payments from OK Compounding. The settlement agreements resolved allegations against both men.
Overall, the Justice Department collected more than $15.9 billion in civil and criminal actions in fiscal year (FY) 2020 ending Sept. 30, 2020. The $15,988,516,670 in collections in FY 2020 represents more than five times the approximately $3.2 billion appropriated budget for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the main litigating divisions of the Justice Department combined in that same period. The total includes all monies collected as a result of Justice Department-led enforcement actions and negotiated civil settlements. It includes more than $13.5 billion in payments made directly to the Justice Department, and more than $2.4 billion in indirect payments made to other federal agencies, states and other designated recipients.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.