Ag's Financial Recoveries Shatter Records

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that financial recoveries obtained by his office jumped over 18 percent in 2005, resulting in over $770 million in deposits to the state treasury, and over $2 billion in restitution to taxpayers, consumers, businesses and local governments.

"I am extremely proud of the work of my office in this area," said Spitzer. "When I first took office, the Department of Law's budget exceeded its recoveries. Just five years ago, we broke the $1 billion barrier for the first time, and now we have exceeded $2.8 billion. This is important because the dollars we recover reduce the burden on taxpayers."

Recoveries in the Wall Street securities and insurance cases again set new records, with over $125 million being paid directly to the state, and an additional $1.3 billion in recoveries for individual investors and businesses.

In addition, Medicaid fraud recoveries were up substantially. During calendar year 2005, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit collected recoveries totaling $273.5 million with over $70 million being deposited into the state's coffers, and an additional $200 million being returned to individual counties and the federal government. This level of recoveries led the nation and it breaks the unit's previous recovery record of $62.5 million, which it established during calendar year 2004.

New York also received $813 million in tobacco settlement payments, of which $416 million was paid to the state, and the remaining $397 million went to local governments.

Total recoveries (including tobacco revenues and restitution payments to individuals and other governmental entities) were $2.8 billion in 2005. In comparison, the total budget for the Department of Law is about $225 million per year, of which about $125 million is generated by taxpayer funds.

The comparison of the 2004 and 2005 financial recovery totals is as follows:

% Change
NYS non-tobacco recoveries
$ 265 million
$ 354 million
33 %
Restitution to public
$ 1,316 million
$ 1,649 million
25 %
Total non-tobacco recoveries
$ 1,581 million
$ 2,003 million
27 %
Total tobacco recoveries
$ 802 million
$ 813 million
1 %
Total Recoveries
$ 2,383 million
$ 2,817 million
18 %

Note: Some of the above figures include amounts ordered to be paid. Portions of those amounts may be paid in future years, while other amounts may not be collectible.

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