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U.S. Attorney’s Office collects $6.5

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News from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Montana

BILLINGS — U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich announced on Jan. 25 that the District of Montana collected $6,579,202 in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2022. Of this amount, $5,558,568 was collected in criminal actions and $1,020,634 was collected in civil actions. 

Additionally, the District of Montana worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $9,376,238 in civil cases pursued jointly by these offices.

“This money comes from collecting civil penalties and debts and from seizing proceeds from criminal activity.  These funds help crime victims and benefit the American people through deposits to the U.S. Treasury, which are priorities of this office. I want to thank our financial litigation unit, the civil and criminal divisions, and all our employees for their hard work on behalf of crime victims,” U.S. Attorney Laslovich said.

Funds collected in criminal judgments include:

- $1,700,372 from the sale of a mansion formerly owned by Larry Price Jr., a former Signal Peak Energy, LLC, mine official convicted of fraud and other crimes.

- $1 million from Signal Peak Energy, which was convicted of willfully violating health and safety standards.

- $392,173 from Debra Gean Roeber, convicted of defrauding a blind and elderly woman, now deceased, who was under her guardianship.

- $200,000 from Melissa Lynne Horner, co-owner of H & H Earthworks, Inc., who was convicted of failing to pay IRS employment taxes.

- $100,000 from U.S. Minerals, Inc., which was convicted of negligent endangerment for exposing workers to arsenic at its former Anaconda plant.

The 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.

Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Montana, working with partner agencies and divisions, collected $548,948 in asset forfeiture actions in FY 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.

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