All Those Court Cases We Report? They Generate a Lot of Money

There is a little known benefit to the federal criminal justice system.

It generates a lot of money.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago announced Wednesday that last year alone, prosecutors won judgments in excess of $75 million. That included $29.7 in criminal actions, $28.7 million in civil cases, and another $16.1 million in forfeited assets.

What’s more, the collections here are more than double the Chicago office’s yearly budget of roughly $29.2 million.

“Our attorneys and staff work diligently to recover meaningful funds for the federal treasury and victims of federal crimes,” U.S. Attorney John Lausch said in a statement. “We have an important responsibility to do everything within our power to ensure that the proceeds of criminal and civil fraud are recovered, and that restitution is made to the victims, whenever possible.”

A spokesman told NBC 5 that the 2017 total is the largest since 2014. Most of the money goes to the federal treasury and, if applicable, is disbursed to a crime victims fund. Restitution collections are disbursed by the Court directly to the victims.

Nationally, the Department of Justice says it collected more than $15 billion in 2017.

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