Department of Justice Should Coordinate Criminal and Civil Remedies To Effectively Pursue Fraud in Federal Programs

GGD-80-7: Published: Oct 25, 1979. Publicly Released: Nov 5, 1979.

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Opportunities for defrauding the government are virtually unlimited due to the number and variety of federal programs. The magnitude of suspected fraud which has surfaced indicates that the problem is severe and that vigorous enforcement of both criminal and civil remedies is warranted. The Justice Department's enforcement of civil remedies was reviewed.

Justice is not making full use of civil remedies to insure that: (1) civil sanctions are considered as part of a coordinated prosecutive strategy against fraud; (2) attorneys give adequate consideration to a defendant's present and future ability to pay before compromising and closing civil fraud cases; and (3) civil fraud debt collections are vigorously pursued. Justice needs to make the most of its opportunities to recover the losses of program funds due to fraudulent activity.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Attorney General should: (1) address, through better guidance and training, the concerns preventing coordination of criminal and civil cases; (2) develop an adequate referral system which will insure timely civil consideration of all fraud matters; (3) provide guidance and assistance to increase awareness of civil remedies and the benefits of coordinating criminal and civil remedies; (4) enforce Justice's policy of obtaining adequate financial information on a defendant before compromising or settling a case; (5) strengthen the management and enforcement of fraud debt collections; and (6) explore with Congress and states the possibility of a uniform statute allowing collection of federal fraud judgments without regard to presently differing state laws.

    Agency Affected:


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