The Madison County Record Nov. 21, 2014, 11:13am

U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton announced that the Southern District of Illinois (SDIL) collected $5,490,994.09 in criminal and civil actions in fiscal year 2014, ending Sept. 30.

Of that amount, $1,574,414.70 was collected in criminal actions and $3,916,579.39 was collected in civil actions, according to a Nov. 19 release from Wigginton's office.

Additionally, the SDIL worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $5,174,776.44 in jointly pursued cases. Of that amount, $8,746.63 was collected in criminal actions and $5,166,029.81was collected in civil actions.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder also announced Wednesday that the Justice Department collected $24.7 billion in civil and criminal actions in fiscal year 2014. The more than $24 billion in collections in fiscal year 2014 represents nearly eight and a half times the appropriated $2.91 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices and the main litigating divisions in that same period.

“As I have done for the last four years, I will continue to make crime pay the honest citizens of Southern Illinois," Wigginton stated. "My office will not fail to collect monies due the United States. Whether you illegally take money with a gun or with a pen, I will see that you are punished and that your ill-gotten gains are returned to the treasury of the United States."

He said the SDIL recovered $3.3 million as part of the settlement in a qui tam case filed against Kmart Corporation.

The case involved Kmart improperly issuing gift cards to customers who moved their Medicare and Medicaid prescriptions to Kmart from competing pharmacies contrary to federal medicare/medicaid re-imbursement regulations.”

The largest civil collections were from affirmative civil enforcement cases, in which the U.S. 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, the release states.

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, the Internal Revenue Service, the Small Business Administration, and the Department of Education.

Also, the SDIL, in working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $1.74 million in asset forfeiture actions in fiscal year 2014. 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.

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