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NJ federal prosecutor’s office produced $120.2M for U.S. in fiscal 2013

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced today that the District of New Jersey collected $120.2 million in Fiscal 2013, which includes $57.8 million in criminal and civil actions and $62.4 million in asset forfeitures.

The breakdown:

  • $45,157,311.66 in criminal actions;
  • $12,635,359.78 in civil actions;
  • $62,436,347 in forfeited assets.

The New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office also participated in the collection of an additional $401.3 million in cases worked by other agencies.

The forfeited assets brought in by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and its partners are deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund and are used to compensate crime victims and pay for a variety of law enforcement purposes.

Fishman created a stand-alone Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit in April 2010 that he said has increased the forfeited funds applied to victim compensation each year.

“Every year since I have been U.S. Attorney, the hardworking public servants in our office have collected far more in fines, penalties, asset forfeiture, restitution and settlements than our operating expenses,” he said.

He called the collection and distribution of the assets “good economics and good for public safety.”

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week that the Justice Department collected approximately $8.1 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2013.

The total is nearly three times the appropriated $2.76 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices and the government’s main litigating division.
“The Department’s enforcement actions help not only to ensure justice is served, but also to deliver a valuable return to the taxpayer,” said Attorney General Holder.

Fiscal 2013 is the first year that the Justice Department is counting collections as shared totals in any case in which a U.S. Attorney’s Office was assisted by other U.S. Attorney’s Offices or departments.

Nationwide, the largest civil collections were from cases in which federal prosecutors recovered government money lost to fraud or other misconduct or collected fines imposed on individuals, corporations or both for violations of federal health, safety, civil rights or environmental laws.

In addition, civil debts were collected on behalf of several federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Internal Revenue Service, Small Business Administration and Department of Education.

Many of the District of New Jersey’s largest collections this year arose from the office’s health care practice, Fishman said.

In one, New Jersey-based Par Pharmaceutical Companies Inc. pleaded guilty last March and and agreed to pay $45 million to resolve its criminal and civil liability for the company’s promotion of its prescription drug Megace® ES for uses not approved as safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration and not covered by federal health care programs.

This year’s collections also include more than $12.6 million paid by the Cooper Health System to settle allegations that it violated the federal False Claims Act and New Jersey False Claims Act by making improper payments to physicians under so-called “consulting” and “compensation” agreements as it sought to build its cardiology program.

Another $2.3 million went directly to the state of New Jersey for Medicaid as a result of the agreement.

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