Restitution recovery by US Justice Department

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Restitution recovery by US Justice Department

I was sentenced to restitution in 2001 and have been making regular payments as stated by the USDJ since.The USDJ had taken 100% income tax refunds due my wife (joint tax returns..she is primary earner) and 100% of the stimulus checks for my family and applied to MY restitution.It does not seem right that my wife and children should pay restitution sentenced to me.Should the USDJ be allowed to take my wife and childrens money?Can she force the government to return her portion?

Asked on June 17, 2009 under Criminal Law, Mississippi

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I don't know if filing separate returns would insulate any refund on your wife's income tax next year, and you could consult a tax advisor, for details on how you might be able to reduce the amount of your refunds, lawfully, by lowering your per-pay-period withholding.

The stimulus funds might be another matter.  But if you filed a joint return, both the refund and the stimulus payments were in your name, as well as your wife's, and the USDJ was probably entirely within its bounds to see it as all being available to you, and taking the money for this purpose.

If you want to pursue this, for advice you can rely on, based on all of the facts of your case, you will need to speak to an attorney who practices criminal defense in the federal courts. One place to look for a lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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