U.S. Attorney Joseph Brown announced today that the Eastern District of Texas collected $42,720,785.69 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2019. Of this amount, $41,528,315.03 was collected in criminal actions and $1,192,470.66 was collected in civil actions.
Additionally, the Eastern District of Texas worked with other U.S. Attorney’s offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $3,829,172.54 in cases pursued jointly by these offices. Of this amount, $19,813.58 was collected in criminal actions and $3,809,358.96 was collected in civil actions.
“One of the most important missions of the U.S. Attorney’s Offices is enforcing and collecting monetary judgments for violations of federal law,” said Brown who has an office in Sherman. “Aggressive enforcement of these judgments achieves the multiple purposes of compensating crime victims, punishing those who break the law, and deterring future violations. The Eastern District prides itself in incorporating asset recovery into the earliest stages of all cases, which ultimately helps maximize the money we collect.”
In August 2019, the Eastern District of Texas recovered nearly $3,200,000 to fully satisfy a restitution judgment entered in United States v. Manpreet Singh in August 2018. Singh was prosecuted for defrauding several banks in the Eastern District of Texas. The Eastern District’s asset recovery team was involved in the prosecution and ensured that Singh made a significant down payment to the restitution prior to sentencing. Next, the asset recovery team sought specific payment terms that would require Singh to sell a hotel and other real property as part of his sentence. The Court adopted the entirety of the government’s requested payment terms and incorporated them into the judgment. Prosecutors successfully forced Singh to promptly effect the hotel sale, which led to the judgment being paid in full in less than a year.
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.
Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Eastern District of Texas, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $15,049,725 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 2019. Forfeited assets deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund are used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of law enforcement purposes.