The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana collected $7,065,356.11 in civil and criminal actions for the fiscal year 2022, the office announced last week.
According to U.S. Attorney Clifford Johnson, $6,571,549.94 was collected in criminal actions and $493,806.17 was collected in civil actions last fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2021, to Sept. 30, 2022).
The collections amount to almost $2 million more than last year. In 2021, the Indiana Northern District collected $5,174,664.80 total.
“Most people, when thinking about the work of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, only focus on the federal criminal prosecutions that this office undertakes,” Johnson said. “While prosecuting criminal conduct is important, that action by itself does not completely advance public safety.
“… A successful criminal prosecution also deprives criminals of any ill-gotten financial gains and uses those funds to compensate crime victims,” Johnson continued. I am very proud that my Office, last fiscal year, recovered over 6.5 million dollars from the criminals we prosecuted. Additionally, my Office, through its collections in civil cases, is returning nearly $500,000.00 to the federal treasury”
One of the largest collections came in May, when the Indiana Northern District recovered $1,513,730 from Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. for civil penalties in a Clean Water Act case as part of a settlement for a discharge in 2019 into the Burns Waterway. The discharge, leading into Lake Michigan, exceeded ammonia and cyanide limits and resulted in 3,000 dead fish, beach closures, and danger of tainted drinking water.
Another notable collection came in July, when the district recovered $385,715 from BP Products for stipulated penalties for Consent Decree violations in a Clean Air Act case.
The attorney’s office also, while working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $1,357,234 in asset forfeiture actions in fiscal year 2022. 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.