DOJ raked in $8 billion in legal actions last year

The Justice Department collected more than $8 billion through civil and criminal cases in fiscal 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday.

The haul includes more than $3 billion stemming from healthcare fraud cases, more than $250 million in fines from the Deepwater Horizon and more than $1 billion more related to price fixing, bid rigging and tax conspiracy cases, according to the agency.

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In announcing the totals, Holder made a case to Congress to keep the Justice Department’s coffers full.

“It is critical that Congress provide the resources necessary to match the department’s mounting caseload,” Holder said. “As these figures show, supporting our federal prosecutors is a sound investment.”

The roughly $8.1 billion collected last year is almost nearly three times greater than the  $2.76 billion appropriated to the agency in fiscal 2013.

Roughly three quarters of the money came from civil actions in cases involving violations of environmental, health, safety and civil rights laws. The remainder comes from criminal cases.

More than $5.48 billion in payments went directly to the Justice Department, while $2.61 billion in indirect payments were made to other federal agencies, states and designated recipients, the Justice Department said.

The agency received $800 million of its $1.5 billion settlement with Abbott Laboratories over allegations that the company illegally promoted the drug Depakote to treat dementia schizophrenia without approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

The U.S. collected $256 million of its $4 billion criminal settlement with BP last year, and is on schedule to recover an additional $1 billion in criminal fines from the resolution over the next four years, the agency said.

Hundreds of millions more reflects legal actions over accusations of tax cheating and alleged conspiracies to fix prices, rig bids and manipulate markets.