Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei announced on Monday, Jan. 25, that the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX) collected $68,064,639.91 in criminal, civil, and asset forfeiture actions in 2020.
In criminal cases, EDTX collected $6,587,484.79 of restitution for crime victims, and recovered an additional $52,557,961.91 through civil enforcement actions for the American taxpayer. Working with partner agencies and divisions, the Eastern District also collected $8,919,191.00 through asset forfeiture.Forfeited assets deposited into the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Fund are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.
“I am proud of the Eastern District’s aggressive approach to collecting debts for victims of crime and for the government,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. “Despite the challenges presented by the COVID pandemic, the Eastern District focused on working to ensure that crime victims receive what they are owed and that defendants pay for their crimes.”
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 federal government 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.
Restitution is paid to the victim; criminal fines and felony assessments are paid to the department’s Crime Victims Fund, which then distributes the funds collected to federal and state victim compensation and assistance programs.
The Justice Department, as a whole, collected more than $15.9 billion in civil and criminal actions in 2020. This amount is more than five times the approximately $3.2 billion appropriated budget for all 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the main litigating divisions of the Justice Department. The total includes all monies collected through Justice Department-led enforcement actions and negotiated civil settlements. It also 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.