In just a year’s time the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office collected $570 million in property, cars, jewelry and champagne from jailed criminals—more than eleven times its annual budget. By federal law, prosecutors are allowed to seize stolen items as well as those purchased with dirty money, reports the Daily News. Once the goods are auctioned off (like in one memorable bling sale), they can use the cash to pay back victims or fund new investigations. "For the victims, we are often all they have, so we are careful not just to get the bad guy, but to get their recompense," said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

A seven-member team has been especially assiduous, raking in over 2 billion in assets over the last five years or “more than the GNP of a country like Belize." From securities scammer Timothy Rigas they collected $715 million in cash and stocks and then sold his Manhattan condo for another million. Going through the estate of Samuel Israel—who faked his own death to avoid jail time for cheating investors—feds seized a porn movie he’d funded as well as a recreational vehicle on which he’d written “Suicide is Painless,” as part of the failed plot. Fraudsters "think they can do some time, get out and then be able to pull out their ill-gotten gains and keep it," said Bharara. "Our answer to them is: 'No, you can't.'"