Ihlenfeld’s office collects $3.2 million in fees

WHEELING – The Northern District of West Virginia collected $3,240,685.5 in fiscal year 2013, including $2,355,043.62 in criminal actions and $885,641.93 civil cases.

U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld said the Northern District also worked with other U.S. attorney’s offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $11,028,221.11 in civil cases pursued jointly with these offices.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week that the Justice Department collected $8.1 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

The more than $8 billion in collections in 2013 represents more than three times the appropriated $2.76 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices and the main litigating divisions in that same period.

“My office works hard every day to protect the public and to recover funds for the federal treasury and for victims of crime,” Ihlenfeld said. “And for those who seek to profit from their illegal activities, we will continue to do everything within our power to take away assets that are acquired through criminal conduct.”

The largest criminal collection in the Northern District was the payment of $963,367.17 in restitution from Bernie Metz through the liquidation of the Roadworthy Tavern and Resort in West Liberty and several vehicles seized through the criminal asset forfeiture process.

Metz was the former chief executive officer at Center Valley Credit Union in Wheeling where she embezzled $8,989,484 from customers, leading to the credit union’s bankruptcy. Metz still owes almost $3.9 million in restitution.

Other large criminal collections from the last fiscal year, according to Northern District officials, include:

– $600,000.00 paid by Chesapeake Appalachia as a result of its conviction on three counts of unauthorized discharge into a waterway of the United States, in violation of the Clean Water Act, relative to the dumping of approximately 60 tons of crushed stone and gravel on three different occasions into Blake Fork in Wetzel County while developing access roads to a natural gas drilling site.

– $502,278.63 paid by Joseph Yurigan of New Alexandria, Pa., as a result of his conviction for submitting fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid.

Although Yurigan still owes $322,692.03 to the Internal Revenue Service, nearly all of the restitution was paid at sentencing. The victims include Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner and BrickStreet Insurance.

Large civil collections from 2013 include $660,000.00 paid by the Ohio Valley Health Education and Services Corp., Ohio Valley Medical Center and East Ohio Regional Hospital in 2013 on a case that was settled in 2012.

These entities still owe nearly $1.84 million to the federal government for violations of the Stark Act and improper compensation arrangements with physicians.

Large criminal asset forfeitures for 2013 include $76,625.00 in assets and currency from Kimberly Mull as a result of her conviction for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. Of this amount, $76,625.00 is the appraised value on forfeited vehicles and $50,000.00 is in U.S. currency.