BUFFALO, N.Y. — The U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western New York District recovered one of the highest amounts of money in its history this year.
The office recovered more than $53 million with almost $11 million returned to victims of crime. That's in comparison to about $900,000 the previous year.
A large chunk of that money – $10 million – was returned to Eastman Kodak and the Town of Greece in money recovered from the Nicolo group. John Nicolo was convicted of defrauding Kodak and the Town through a scheme that lowered appraisals and tax costs for Kodak properties. Nicolo was hired by Kodak to appraise manufacturing properties.
"The last couple of years, the Department of Justice has really seen the effort and the strategy to use that money to return it back to the victims of the crimes that were forfeiting the monies from. So what we've done, if you look at our stats from the previous couple of years, every year we go up a little," said Richard Kaufman, U.S. Attorney's Office.
Hochul says the money also is being put back in to law enforcement, community groups and programs.