January 13 – Over $36 Million in Civil and Criminal Lawsuits Recovered by US Attorneys in Savannah | Law
Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to raise an additional $47,853 from criminal actions and $23,000 from criminal actions. civilians, said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.
The Southern District’s 2021 recovery total was $26 million higher than the 2020 total of $10.7 million, including $20 million in the Argos USA settlement coordinated with the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.
“Asset recovery is a critical part of our office’s role in enforcing the law and protecting citizens and the public treasury,” said U.S. Attorney Estes. “Identifying and collecting these restitutions, forfeitures and judgments and initiating actions to recover these funds helps to ensure that crime does not pay.”
Examples of major recoveries in fiscal year 2021 through the United States Attorney’s Office Financial Litigation Program include nearly $1 million in restitution in a bank fraud case in Savannah; more than $218,000 in restitution to repay funds misappropriated from a Statesboro medical practice; and more than $177,000 in restitution of funds from a healthcare fraud scheme by an Appling County pharmacist.
Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, together with partner agencies and divisions, recovered more than $8 million in asset forfeiture actions in fiscal year 2021, classifying the U.S. District Attorney’s Office South Georgia ranked second in the nation among mid-sized districts across the country. Funds recovered included those from money laundering investigations, proceeds from fraud – including COVID-19 programs – and proceeds from drug trafficking, illegal gambling and animal fighting. Forfeited assets deposited in the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Fund are used to return funds to victims of crime and for various law enforcement purposes.
The U.S. Attorney’s Offices, along with the Litigation Divisions of the Department of Justice, are responsible for the enforcement and collection of civil and criminal debts owed to the United States and criminal debts owed to victims of federal crimes. The law requires defendants to compensate victims of certain federal crimes who have suffered physical injury or financial loss. While restitution is paid to the victim, criminal fines and felony assessments go to the department’s Crime Victims Assistance Fund, which distributes funds collected to federal and state victim compensation programs and assistance to victims.
The Southern District Asset Recovery Unit, led by Section Chief and Assistant U.S. Attorney Xavier A. Cunningham, includes Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Sue Robichaux, Financial Litigation Analyst Michael Palmer, Analyst Data Manager Leiandra Moran, Case Reviewer Teisha Lovett, Paralegal Wanda Jackson and Paralegal Specialists Rosylen Givens and Margrita Brady.