Federal prosecutors in Oklahoma City collect $23 million in civil judgments

Friday, December 24th 2004, 5:46 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The U.S. Attorney's Office in Oklahoma City collected $23 million from criminals this year but $96 million remains unpaid and will be hard to recover, officials say.

The office of U.S. Attorney Robert McCampbell collected most of the money in civil judgments, according to information released on Thursday.

Of $21.3 million collected, $18.1 million came from cases involving allegations of fraud against the United States.

Nearly $1.7 million came from convicted criminals in restitution, fines and special assessments, about $1.3 million of which was paid to crime victims.

``We're not giving up on these guys if they owe money, we're going to keep after them,'' McCampbell, chief federal prosecutor for the Western District of Oklahoma, said.

McCampbell's district includes 40 counties within Oklahoma from Lincoln County in the east to the state's western border.

Often the cases are very hard to collect on, McCampbell said.

``The cases we get that go to court are the cases they couldn't work out beforehand,'' he said. ``By the time the case is through, a lot of these people have very few assets they can use to satisfy these judgments.''

Most of the money collected this year came from a $16 million civil settlement with Gold Banc Corp. Inc., which was accused of charging excessive fees to borrowers and inflating interest rates charged on federally guaranteed agricultural loans. In the settlement, the Kansas-based bank denied any wrongdoing.