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Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, U.S. Department of Justice

2018 Crime Victims Financial Restoration Award | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards
Watch the tribute video

Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, U.S. Department of Justice | Crime Victims Financial Restoration Award
Team Members: Alice Drery; Jennifer Bickford; Matthew Colon; Carly Diroll-Black; Daniel Marposon; Wendy Silberberg; Jessica Ashton; Fred Childress; Jacqueline Feil; Kimberly Huey; Regan Kruse; Rebecca Mabee; Kenneth Feinberg; Sarah Dorsey; Jane Lee; Zoe Heller; Ilissa Gould; Gene Patton; Manuel Gonzalez; Christopher Rouchard; James Quinn; John Andre
Washington, DC

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Program has returned over $5.1 billion in civilly and criminally forfeited funds to crime victims since fiscal year 2002 through the Department’s victim compensation program, managed by the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section’s (MLARS) Program Management and Training Unit (PMTU). 

In the past 3 years, MLARS has returned over $1.3 billion in forfeited funds to crime victims. Working in close coordination and collaboration with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and federal law enforcement agencies across the country, PMTU reviews thousands of petitions for remission submitted by crime victims, both domestically and internationally. They also successfully ensure the restoration of forfeited funds to satisfy restitution orders in federal criminal cases. In many instances, were it not for MLARS’s victim compensation program, crime victims would receive no compensation for their financial losses. 

Most recently, PMTU oversaw a $772 million distribution to 24,000 victims of Bernard Madoff. This distribution represents the first in a series of payments that will eventually return over $4 billion to victims of the Madoff fraud. In addition, MLARS also announced the beginning of the remission process to distribute up to $586 million in forfeited funds to fraud victims of Western Union. More than 500,000 potential victims of various consumer fraud schemes were notified of their ability to file a petition in this matter. 

In 2016, MLARS, through PMTU, began oversight and administration of the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund (USVSST Fund), along with Special Master Kenneth R. Feinberg. Congress established the USVSST Fund to compensate thousands of victims of international acts of terrorism perpetrated by state sponsors of terrorism. Many of these individuals—including the Iran hostages held from 1979 to 1981 and their spouses and children, victims of the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, and victims of the attack on the U.S.S. Cole have been waiting decades for compensation. 

To date, the USVSST Fund has issued more than $1 billion to over 2,000 victims. PMTU has improved fraud detection, spearheaded government coordination, and pioneered the use of contractual claims administrators to process victim remission petitions in multi-victim Ponzi schemes and securities fraud cases involving thousands of victims.

2018 National Crime Victims' Service Awards Tribute Video

Watch this video to learn more about the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 2018 recipient of the Crime Victims Financial Restoration Award.