Alcoa judgment helps U.S. Attorney’s Office collect 5 times its budget |

Alcoa judgment helps U.S. Attorney’s Office collect 5 times its budget

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of Western Pennsylvania has collected about five times its budget in criminal and civil penalties and government restitution, mainly because of an aluminum manufacturer’s guilty plea in a foreign bribery case.

The office collected $52.9 million in the federal fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, U.S. Attorney David Hickton said. That’s about five times the $10.6 million it collected in 2010 and five times the office’s operating budget, he said.

The bulk of the money, $48.9 million, came from criminal cases.

Alcoa World Alumina LLC in January pleaded guilty in a foreign bribery case and was fined $209 million, which it is paying in five annual installments of $41.8 million, according to court records.

In addition to those collections, the Western Pennsylvania office worked with federal prosecutors and Justice Department lawyers in regional cases that brought in $11.6 million more. The office worked with local and state law enforcement to seize $18.8 million in asset forfeitures.

Nationally, the Justice Department collected $24.7 billion in civil and criminal actions, Attorney General Eric Holder said. The 94 U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the divisions of the Justice Department that handle civil and criminal cases have a combined budget of $2.9 billion.

Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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