Report: U.S. Attorney's Office taking profit out of crime

Ann Knef Oct. 11, 2007, 2:10am



Feds collected more than $10 million from convicted felons and other civil defendants in the Southern District of Illinois during fiscal year 2007, according to U.S. Attorney Randy G. Massey.

Massey, who will be leaving his post at the end of the month when his interim appointment expires, said collections were more than double the annual operating budget of his office.

In a recent press release, Massey also boasted of coming in under budget with increased productivity in '07.

Under his charge, the U.S. Attorney's office this year successfully prosecuted Madison County attorney Gary Peel on bankruptcy fraud, obstruction of justice and child pornography charges – among others. And, federal prosecutors are currently taking on Lakin Law Firm founder Thomas Lakin on drug and sex charges.

Massey will be succeeded Nov. 4 by Benton attorney Courtney Cox who was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois last month.

"We are cognizant everyday of the fact that the budget we are provided by the Department of Justice is taxpayer money. It is extremely important that our resources are spent prudently and that waste is avoided," Massey said in a statement.

The Numbers

FY07 Criminal collections:
Restitution to victims, fines and special assessments

FY07 Civil collections:
Restitution in fraud cases, mortgage foreclosures, defaulted student loans, bankruptcy and other debts

Criminal charges:
FY06: 340
FY07: 390

Civil matters:
FY06: 457
FY07: 552

Criminal trials:
FY06: 14 (51 trial days)
FY07: 26 (113 trial days

Civil trials:
FY06: 4
FY07: 5

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