BILLINGS (STL.News) Acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson announced today that the District of Montana collected $7,352,119 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2020. Of this amount, the office collected $2,523,303 in criminal actions and $4,828,816 in civil actions.
“These funds come from seizing ill-gotten gains from criminals and from civil penalties and debt collections. The money helps to make crime victims whole and benefits the U.S. Treasury, which are priorities of this office. I want to thank our financial litigation unit, the civil and criminal divisions, and all of our employees for their hard work on behalf of victims of crime and government fraud,” Acting U.S. Attorney Johnson said.
Funds or payments collected in criminal judgments include cases involving Encore Services LLC, a Nevada company convicted in 2017 in a public corruption case to defraud the Chippewa Cree Tribe, and James and Timilynn Kisling, a Billings couple who owned a construction company and were convicted in 2019 of tax evasion for using the construction of a Billings mansion to avoid reporting profits.
Some of the funds collected in civil actions include a 2018 case settled with Kalispell Regional Healthcare System for alleged violations of the False Claims Act by paying physicians more than the fair market value.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, along with the department’s litigating divisions, are responsible for enforcing and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the U.S. 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. While restitution is paid to the victim, criminal fines and felony assessments are paid to the department’s Crime Victims Fund, which distributes the funds collected to federal and state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.