RALEIGH – The Eastern District of North Carolina raised more than $ 7 million in criminal and civil suits this fiscal year, including a $ 600,000 fine from a Pitt County drug store for controlled substance violations.
U.S. attorney Robert J. Higdon Jr. announced last week that it had raised approximately $ 3.7 million for criminal acts and $ 3.3 million for civil lawsuits. Additionally, more than $ 4.4 million in asset losses were accumulated.
In total, the Department of Justice raised more than $ 15.9 billion in civil and criminal justice in fiscal 2020, which ended September 30. The total includes all funds raised as a result of Department of Justice-led enforcement actions and negotiated civil settlements. It includes payments of more than $ 13.5 billion made directly to the Department of Justice and indirect payments of more than $ 2.4 billion to other federal agencies, states, and other designated recipients.
In an effort to stop the reckless dispensing of opioids and other controlled substances, Farmville Discount Drugs and owner Robert L. Crocker fined the Eastern District $ 600,000 for multiple controlled substance law violations. The civil ruling against Farmville and Crocker and the permanent injunction resulted in everyone losing their license to dispense controlled substances.
The office has raised millions in reimbursements for victims of crimes ordered by the United States District Court. For example, William Trevor Soloff, after pleading guilty of receiving child pornography, was sentenced to 151 months in prison and a refund of $ 36,000 to victims of his crime-related child pornography, and an estimate of $ 5,000 sentenced. The office set up a 401 (k) account from Soloff to fully comply with the judgment.
“Our office uses every available tool in our arsenal to sue vigorously and aggressively collect victim refunds and fines and recover taxpayers’ money that is either lost through fraud or otherwise owed to government agencies,” said Higdon. “We are proud of the men and women in our office who work so hard to achieve justice through their quick and effective collection efforts.”
The U.S. law firms, along with the Department’s litigation departments, are responsible for the enforcement and recovery of civil and criminal debts to the United States and criminal debts to victims of federal crimes. The law requires defendants to pay compensation to victims of certain federal crimes who have suffered personal injury or financial loss.
While a refund is being paid to the victim, fines and offenses are paid to the ministry’s Crime Victims Fund, which distributes funds to federal and state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.
The Eastern District worked with partner agencies and departments to raise $ 4.4 million in asset forfeiture measures. Forfeited assets deposited with the Department of Justice’s Forfeiture Fund can be used for a variety of purposes, including assisting law enforcement. In certain circumstances, they can be used to restore funds to victims of crime.
For example, the Justice Department returned at least $ 1.1 million in assets to the Eastern District that were used to compensate victims of crimes prosecuted by the Office.
“The loss of assets that facilitate crime or are the fruits of crime deprives criminals of the means and reasons for their criminal activity,” Higdon said. “The loss of assets serves an important law enforcement interest. We will continue to aggressively pursue the money so we can financially disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations and return money to victims of crime. “