10 January, 2011

News from Our US Attorney DC

U.S. Attorney’s Office in District of Columbia
Collects More Than $1 Billion
In Financial Recoveries During Fiscal Year 2010
U.S. Attorney Machen Credits New Initiatives, Enhanced Collaboration
The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia collected more than $1
billion in criminal and civil actions and asset forfeitures during the most recent fiscal year,
reflecting an increased emphasis on aggressively pursuing financial recoveries on behalf of
taxpayers and victims, U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen announced on December 16, 2010.
The totals included more than $543 million in criminal and civil asset forfeiture collections in
Fiscal Year 2010. Another $577.8 million was collected in criminal actions and $13.6 million
was collected in civil actions.

“The billion dollars collected this year are the result of a renewed focus, both in our office and
across the Department of Justice, on protecting government resources, compensating victims of
crime, and punishing wrongdoers with financial sanctions,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “In
these tight fiscal times, we will continue to deliver for the American taxpayer by aggressively
pursuing every civil and criminal debt owed to the government.”
Nationwide, financial collections in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2010 reached an alltime
high due to the efforts in the District of Columbia and other U.S. Attorneys’ offices,
according to Department of Justice statistics. All told, the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices contributed
to the collection of $6.68 billion in criminal and civil actions and another $1.8 billion nationwide
in asset forfeiture actions during the fiscal year, the statistics show.
In Washington, U.S. Attorney Machen has emphasized the importance of asset forfeiture in
efforts to fight crime and criminal organizations and to seek justice for victims. The office has
acted in cases of all sizes to deprive criminals of their ill-gotten gains, with the largest matter
resulting in the forfeiture of $500 million from a company accused of conspiring to defraud the
United States.

Asset forfeiture is a powerful law enforcement tool that can deprive criminals and criminal
organizations of illegal proceeds and instrumentalities of crimes, recover property that may be
used to compensate victims, and deter crime. Federal law provides authority to seize and forfeit
the proceeds of virtually all serious federal offenses.

Reflecting the importance he places on this mission, Mr. Machen established an Asset Forfeiture
and Money Laundering Section earlier this year within the office’s Criminal Division. The
section’s veteran attorneys work with prosecutors and investigating agencies at all stages of the
criminal and civil processes to ensure that illegal proceeds are identified and located.

The largest forfeiture for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia – $500 million
– came as a result of the investigation of the former ABN AMRO Bank, a Dutch corporation that
was accused of conspiring to defraud the United States, failing to maintain adequate anti-money
laundering procedures, and violating U.S. sanctions against countries such as Iran, Libya, the
Sudan and Cuba. ABN AMRO agreed to forfeit the money as part of a deferred prosecution
agreement. This case was handled jointly by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of
Columbia and the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.

The $543 million total also includes $40 million from a case handled by the Department of
Justice’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, in which the U.S. Attorney’s Office
for the District of Columbia provided assistance in processing the payments. Numerous other
matters accounted for the remaining $3 million in forfeiture collections during Fiscal Year 2010.
In addition, the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section within the U.S. Attorney’s
Office in the District of Columbia has laid the groundwork in 2010 for significant future
collections. Significantly, the Section litigated two appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
D.C. Circuit in the AdSurf Daily Inc. case, a civil forfeiture action which arose out of a $110
million Ponzi scheme. The AdSurf Daily matter centers around $80 million in fraud proceeds
that have already been forfeited to the United States but a portion of which are subject to
ongoing appellate litigation.
The U.S. Attorneys= offices also are responsible for enforcing and collecting criminal and civil
debts owed to the United States and criminal debts owed to federal crime victims.
Collections in criminal actions include restitution, criminal fines, and felony assessments. 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 directly to the victim, criminal fines
and felony assessments are paid to the Department of Justice=s Crime Victims= Fund, which
distributes the money to state victim compensation and victim assistance programs. The $577.8
million collected in criminal actions by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia
includes some significant amounts generated by cases handled primarily by the Department of
Justice’s litigating divisions. The U.S. Attorney’s Office plays an important follow-up role in
these cases by assisting in the collection of this money.

In the District of Columbia, the largest criminal fine to be paid was $400 million ordered in such
a shared case against BAE Systems. The company pleaded guilty on March 1, 2010, to
conspiring to defraud the United States by impairing and impeding its lawful functions, making
false statements about its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance program, and violating the
Arms Export Control Act and International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
U.S. Attorney Machen noted that the District of Columbia’s totals also included the latest
installment of $25 million in criminal fines being paid by Chiquita Brands International, Inc.,
stemming from the corporation’s guilty plea in 2007 to one count of engaging in transactions
with a specially-designated global terrorist. As part of the plea agreement, the corporation is
paying $5 million a year, plus post-judgment interest. The U.S. Attorney’s Office worked with
the Department of Justice’s National Security Division in prosecuting this case.
The bulk of the $13.6 million in civil collections by the District of Columbia came 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.

Nationwide, Department of Justice statistics indicate that the total amount collected in criminal
actions totaled $2.84 billion. The statistics indicated that $3.84 billion was collected in civil
actions. Combined, these collections represented an all-time high.
The nationwide collection totals for Fiscal Year 2010 represent nearly a 30% increase in criminal
collections and 57% increase in civil collections over FY 2009. In FY 2009, the U.S. Attorneys=
offices contributed to the collection of more than $4.6 billion. Of the amount collected, $2.23
billion was collected criminally and $2.44 billion was collected civilly. Nationwide, the
significant increase in collections was due to various large criminal restitution cases as well as
large health care fraud cases.

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