EMBARGOED FOR RELEASEOVC
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 1998202/307-0703

Victims Receive Services As Result of Criminal Fine Collection Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Diligent efforts by U.S. Attorneys, Bureau of Prisons' (BOP) staff and U.S. Court personnel to collect fines from federal criminal offenders brought record deposits in 1996 into the Crime Victims Fund, which will improve services for thousands of crime victims across the country. One individual and two teams of federal personnel from Boston, New York City and Kansas City, Kansas are being recognized for their efforts by Attorney General Janet Reno in a Justice Department ceremony held today.

"This is good government at work, plain and simple," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "It is through the efforts of committed individuals like those we're honoring today that deposits to the Crime Victims Fund reached record levels in 1996 -- more than $528 million -- which allow us to support pioneering programs such as children's advocacy centers and comprehensive victim service centers."

Revenue for the Crime Victims Fund is wholly dependent on federal crime fighting efforts. Last year, the Fund was augmented by a $340 million fine -- the largest criminal fine in history -- against Daiwa Bank in a criminal fraud case arising out of illegal trading activity. The Daiwa litigation team from U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White's office in the Southern District of New York is receiving a Crime Victims Fund Award for its work on this case.

The other awardees are the Judicial Enforcement Team (JET) from U.S. Attorney Don Stern's office in the District of Massachusetts and Carol Holinka of the Bureau of Prisons' (BOP) North Central Region, Kansas City, Kansas. JET uncovered concealed assets through surveillance and computer searches, which led to seizures of bank and investment accounts and auctioned property resulting in debt recoveries of over $37.6 million. Ms. Holinka trained correctional programs, financial management and victim/witness program staff in the 16 institutions of the North Central Region on the inmate financial responsibility computer system, which helped them net approximately $3 million in collections in 1996.

"The Crime Victims Fund is the essential lifeline that secures services and support for more than two million crime victims annually," said Reggie Robinson, acting director for the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). "Because our agency doesn't receive funds appropriated by Congress, we could not operate without it."

The Crime Victims Fund is administered by OVC and supports programs for crime victims with money paid in fines by federal criminal offenders -- not taxpayers. Fines collected in one year by U.S. Attorneys, the U.S. Courts and Bureau of Prisons are deposited into the Fund and are available for grant awards in the following year.

For more information about the Crime Victims Fund and OVC, visit the Office for Victims of Crime World Wide Web site at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/ or the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) web site at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov. Or, call the Office for Victims of Crime Resource Center on 800/627-6872.

###

OVC98023

After hours contact: Linda Mansour on 202/616-3534 or page on 888/582-6750