U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the nation have pulled in more than $6.6 billion in civil and criminal court collections this year, including more than $80 million from Florida’s Middle District, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office report.

The recoveries of funds from court proceedings are the most ever: Federal authorities have been combatting widespread fraud across the country in the wake of a crumbling economy.

In Florida’s Middle District, mortgage and investor fraud have been a top priority in recent months, and investigations have generated $46 million in civil and criminal forfeitures this year and $35 million in civil and criminal “financial impositions, including fines, restitution, and assessments,” according to a  U.S. Attorney’s Office press release.

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LeMieux attempts to nix EPA water quality standards

Add Sen. George LeMieux to the pile of politicians trying to delay EPA water quality nutrient standards. LeMieux was one of 21 congressmen to sign an Aug. 2 letter to the EPA that called on the agency to delay its water quality rules until a peer review of the science and an independent economic analysis is conducted. Several weeks later, the EPA responded, arguing that no further review is needed and that the standards will go ahead as planned. Yesterday, the Republican senator took it a step further, introducing an amendment to a spending bill that would have blocked the EPA from spending any money to implement a stricter set of rules.