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Criminal, civil actions bring in $6.5 million for year

December 20, 2012
From staff reports , Weirton Daily Times

WHEELING - U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II announced his office collected more than $6.5 million in fiscal year 2012 as a result of criminal and civil actions handled during that time period.

The total collected by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of West Virginia in 2012 was $6,504,929, of which $4,065,351 came from civil actions; $633,918 came from criminal actions; and $1,805,659.46 came from civil and criminal forfeitures, according to reports.

"My office has many talented and hard-working people who work every day to recover funds for victims of crimes and for the federal treasury," said Ihlenfeld. "We'll continue to be aggressive in 2013 in holding those who violate the law accountable for their actions."

Some of the largest collections in Northern West Virginia came from cases against health care providers that violated federal law, including a payment of more than $2 million by Monongalia Health System Inc. of Morgantown for submitting fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid, according to reports.

A separate civil case saw the Mathias-Baker Emergency Medical Squad of Hardy County pay just over $1 million for making false claims to Medicare and Medicaid, officials said.

In another civil case, the Ohio Valley Health Education & Services Corp., Ohio Valley Medical Center and East Ohio Regional Hospital paid $660,000 and these entities still owe nearly $2.4 million to the federal government for violations of the Stark Act and improper compensation arrangements with physicians, officials said.

U.S. Attorneys' Offices throughout the country 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 directly to the victim, criminal fines and felony assessments are paid to the department's Crime Victims' Fund, which distributes the funds to state victim compensation and victim assistance programs, officials said.

Nationwide, the U.S. Attorneys' offices collected $13.1 billion in criminal and civil actions during fiscal year 2012, more than doubling the $6.5 billion that was collected in 2011, according to reports.

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