U.S. Attorney’s Office – District of Oregon – 12/21/22 11:56 AM
PORTLAND, Ore.—The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon announced today that it has collected nearly $33 million in criminal and civil actions and restitution payments in Fiscal Year 2022. Of this amount, $10.2 million was collected in criminal actions and $4.6 million was collected in civil actions.
The District of Oregon worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $1 million in criminal and civil cases pursued jointly by these offices and $16.9 million in asset forfeiture actions.
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.
“The District of Oregon’s Financial Litigation Program staff deliver a valuable service to victims of crime, as well as a valuable return to the American people by holding accountable those who have profited from crimes committed in Oregon and beyond, and by collecting on other actions resulting in civil settlements,” said Katie de Villiers, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Asset Recovery and Money Laundering Division. “We take seriously our obligation to make crime victims as financially whole as possible, whether those victims are private individuals, large companies, or government agencies. Our annual collections figure is a testament to our team’s daily hard work and unwavering pursuit of justice.”
An example of the district’s collection efforts was in U.S. v. Kiraz et al. In early October 2022, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced it had secured a full restitution payment totaling more than $600,000 from the former operators of two Portland-area strip clubs who were convicted at trial in 2016 for conspiring to defraud the IRS and Oregon Department of Revenue. On September 23, 2022, the Clerk of the Court for the District of Oregon received a payment of $608,217 from David, George, and Daniel Kiraz. The Kirazes had previously paid less than ten percent of their original $657,243 restitution order.
A second example is in U.S. v. Idaho Power Company. In late August 2022, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced it had reached an agreement with the Idaho Power Company, a Boise, Idaho-based utility, wherein the company would pay $1.5 million to settle allegations by the U.S. relating to the May 2014 Powerline and August 2015 Lime Hill fires in Baker County, Oregon. Soon after, the company paid the $1.5 million settlement in full.
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 District of Oregon’s Financial Litigation Program (FLP) is part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Asset Recovery and Money Laundering Division. The mission and goal of FLP is to fairly achieve the maximum recovery of civil and criminal debts consistent with applicable laws, regulations, and Justice Department policies. FLP attorneys and support staff work with individuals subject to restitution orders to bring closure for crime victims and recoup losses incurred by United States taxpayers.