Asset Forfeiture Unit and Financial Litigation Program | Crime Victims Financial Restoration Award
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee
The Asset Forfeiture Unit and the Financial Litigation Program (AF/FLP) in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee is extraordinarily committed to recovering illegally obtained funds and returning them to victims of crime.
From fiscal year 2018 through the first three quarters of fiscal year 2021, AF/FLP collected more than $3 million in illegally obtained funds and distributed them to victims of crime through restoration and restitution payments. Their innovative approaches and practices have substantially benefitted Tennessee crime victims who suffered financial harm as a result of criminal conduct.
Traditionally, financial recovery efforts have focused on post-conviction collection. The AF/FLP is unique in that they work closely with the U.S. Probation Office to establish relationships with criminal defendants during and after the period of their supervised release, ensuring that payments flow to the victims regularly and continuously. In recent years they have prioritized working with the Office’s criminal prosecutors before an indictment is returned so that they can identify, locate, and obtain criminal defendants’ ill-gotten gains before they can be spent, hidden, or distributed.
The AF/FLP also enrolls almost every criminal debtor into the Treasury Offset Program, so that any federal money received by a defendant goes to the victims in the case. This approach has resulted in significant recoveries on behalf of crime victims. In fiscal year 2018, $91,405 was returned to victims of crime in Middle Tennessee through the AF/FLP’s efforts. Returns to victims in fiscal year 2019 totaled $1,847,020; fiscal year 2020 returns totaled $351,266; and the first three quarters of fiscal year 2021, returns totaled $869,445.
In addition, AF/FLP works closely with the District’s Victim Witness Coordinator to educate victims about restitution and their rights as crime victims under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act. For instance, AF/FLP and the Victim Witness Coordinator collaborated on a brochure for victims entitled “Understanding Restitution.”
Whether by informing victims of the state and federal resources available to them, or by tracking down and successfully recovering funds for victims, each member of the AF/FLP team goes above and beyond the call of duty to provide comfort and peace of mind to crime victims.
2022 National Crime Victims' Service Awards Tribute Video
Watch this video to learn more about the Asset Forfeiture Unit and Financial Litigation Program, 2022 recipient of the Allied Professional Award.