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U.S. Attorney Recovers $8.6 Billion In Numerous Cases

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Photo Credit: United States Attorney's Office

More than $8.6 billion in forfeiture actions, more than $3 billion in civil actions, and more than $1.3 billion from restitution, criminal fines, and special assessments, were collected between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2015, by his office Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York announced.

The amounts collected include criminal and civil forfeitures of nearly $3.44 billion for calendar year 2014 and more than $5.24 billion for 2015.

“Our office’s more than $12 billion in forfeitures, penalties, and fines for the calendar years 2014 and 2015 includes more than $8.6 billion in forfeitures, the most that this Office or any U.S. Attorney’s Office has forfeited in a two-year period," Bharara said. "These recoveries demonstrate that those who break the law or commit civil offenses, whether institutions or individuals, are not free to profit from their misconduct. These recoveries not only serve to deter bad conduct. These recoveries not only serve to deter bad conduct, but also a significant portion of the money recovered will go toward compensating victims of crime or other misconduct who suffered real financial loss.”

Some of the top forfeiture cases included these:

  • BNP Paribas - $8.9736 billion forfeited: In July 2014, BNP Paribas pled guilty to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act by knowingly moving more than $8.8 billion through U.S. financial systems on behalf of Sudanese, Iranian, and Cuban entities subject to U.S. economic sanctions.
  • JPMorgan Chase - $1.7 billion forfeited: On Jan. 7, 2014, as part of a deferred prosecution agreement, JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay a non-tax deductible penalty of $1.7 billion, in the form of a civil forfeiture for its violations of the Bank Secrecy Act committed in connection with the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.
  • Toyota Motor Corporation - $1.2 billion forfeited: In March 2014, the Toyota Motor Corporation entered into a deferred prosecution agreement based on charges that Toyota misled consumers by concealing and making deceptive statements regarding two safety issues affecting its vehicles, which caused a type of unintended acceleration.
  • Bank of America and Countrywides - More than $1 billion paid to the U.S: Investigations into the origination of defective residential mortgage loans by Countrywide’s Consumer Markets Division and Bank of America’s Retail Lending Division, as well as the fraudulent sale of such loans to the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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