On Monday, the Department of Justice released its 2013 budget request. Although the overall budget request went down a small bit from the 2012 budget request, there was a significant increase, $55 million to be exact, in the amount requested to investigate and prosecute financial and mortgage crimes.
The National Law Journal reports that,
DOJ wants to add 16 attorneys in the Criminal Division and 38 lawyers to the Civil Division. Additionally, the department would hire 120 new assistant U.S. attorneys in offices around the country. The Civil Rights Division would pick up 10 attorneys to expand investigations.
Below is an excerpt from the Department of Justice release:
The administration and the Department of Justice remain committed to investigating and prosecuting financial fraud that harms the American people and the financial markets. To strengthen our efforts at combating this fraud, we propose a program increase of $55 million for financial and mortgage fraud initiatives to complement ongoing efforts to root out various forms of fraud, including health care fraud, that are supported by existing direct resources and reimbursable funding.
The department plays a crucial role in the federal financial recovery effort through criminal and civil litigation. The FY 2013 Budget requests resources that will strengthen the department’s ability to pursue large-scale financial fraud investigations so Americans’ investments are protected. The department will increase its efforts to help restore confidence in our markets, protect the federal Treasury and defend the interests of the U.S. government.
The department requests program increases for a variety of economic fraud enforcement efforts, including work being done by Department of Justice members of the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. This increase will support additional FBI agents, criminal prosecutors, civil litigators, investigators, forensic accountants and other support positions. The additional resources will support the department’s investigation and prosecution of the broad range of crimes that fall under the definition of financial fraud, including securities and commodities fraud, investment scams and mortgage foreclosure schemes.
For health care fraud enforcement, the department uses funding provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The FY 2013 Budget for HHS requests an additional $71.7 million for the department to address health care fraud. This increase will strengthen and expand Department of Justice and HHS’ Medicare Fraud Strike Forces, support the expansion of the department’s civil litigation efforts, specifically in areas such as pharmaceutical fraud and off-label marketing, and provide additional resources in our efforts to eliminate abuse and substandard care in public health care facilities, Medicare and Medicaid funded nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
To read the rest of the Department of Justice’s budget release, click here.