(a) In general
This chapter (other than section 4504 of this title)–
(1) specifies the procedure for the disbursement of funds collected, including interest thereon, by the Secretary or the courts pursuant to the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act of 1973 [15 U.S.C. 751 et seq.] or the Economic Stabilization Act of 1970 (and the regulations issued thereunder) as restitution for actual or alleged violations of such Acts or regulations; and
(2) subject to subsection (c), applies to–
(A) any amount of such funds held in escrow by the Secretary through accounts administered by the Secretary of the Treasury on or after October 21, 1986; and
(B) any amount of such funds determined at any time, pursuant to judicial or administrative proceedings (including any settlement agreement or declaratory judgment) instituted by the Secretary to enforce such Acts and regulations, to be amounts paid for such actual or alleged violations, including any such amounts held in escrow by any court.
(b) Special rule
Terms Used In 15 USC 4501
- Escrow: Money given to a third party to be held for payment until certain conditions are met.
- Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
- Public law: A public bill or joint resolution that has passed both chambers and been enacted into law. Public laws have general applicability nationwide.
- Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
- Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
Amounts described in subsection (a)(2) and held in an escrow account by a court before October 21, 1986, may continue to be held by such court but shall be disbursed, together with any interest thereon, by the Secretary or, as appropriate, by the court only in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
Subsection (a)(2) does not apply to–
(1) any amount actually disbursed before October 21, 1986, to any person or class of persons pursuant to section 155 of Public Law 97-377 or any final judicial or administrative order or judgment (including any settlement agreement or declaratory judgment);
(2) any amount to which any person or class of persons has an enforceable right, created or vested, or governed by the terms and conditions of the settlement approved on July 7, 1986, in In Re: the Department of Energy Stripper Well Exemption Litigation, M.D.L. No. 378, in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas; and
(3) any amount designated by judicial or administrative order or judgment (including any settlement agreement or declaratory judgment) for disbursement at any time to any specific person or class of persons–
(A) identified in such order or judgment as injured by the violation or alleged violation of the Acts described in subsection (a)(1) (including the regulations thereunder); or
(B) identified in such order or judgment issued before October 21, 1986, for indirect restitution.
(d) Escrow accounts
Subject to subsections (b) and (c), the amounts covered by subsection (a) shall be held in appropriate escrow accounts administered for the Secretary by the Secretary of the Treasury.
Consistent with the disbursement requirements of this chapter, the Secretary of the Treasury shall provide that amounts described in subsection (a) shall earn interest at the maximum rate earned on investments of Federal trust funds by the Secretary of the Treasury in short-term and long-term securities issued by the Federal Government (including minority bank investments).