The District of Oregon collected more than $8.2 million in criminal and civil actions and restitution payments made to victims in Fiscal Year 2019, according to a release from U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams in Portland.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $2,925,024 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.
As a whole, the Justice Department collected $9.3 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2019.
An example of the district’s collection efforts was in U.S. v. Jiang. In April 2019, Quan Jiang pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in counterfeit trademarks for his role in smuggling into the U.S. and obtaining refunds for thousands of fake and altered Apple iPhones.
Jiang imported more than 2,000 inoperable counterfeit iPhones and ultimately obtained approximately 1,500 genuine replacement iPhones, each with an approximate resale value of $600. On October 21, 2019, Jiang was sentenced to 37 months’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release. In addition, he was ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution to Apple, which he remitted to the court prior to sentencing pursuant to his plea agreement with the government.
A second example is U.S. v. Med-Tech Resource LLC. From 2013 to 2015, Med-Tech defrauded the U.S. by intentionally misrepresenting the value and classification of emergency medical supply goods it imported from China.
Med-Tech knowingly and repeatedly filed entry papers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection that misclassified and understated by half the value of the goods it imported, thereby fraudulently reducing the duties and fees it owed on those goods. Med-Tech paid $238,654 as part of a civil settlement to resolve claims against it under the False Claims Act. Med-Tech’s president, Michael Modrich, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, and was sentenced 18 months in prison and ordered to pay a $26,610 fine.
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.
The largest civil collections were from affirmative civil enforcement cases, in which the United States 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.
In addition, civil debts were collected on behalf of several federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Internal Revenue Service, the Small Business Administration and the Department of Education.