where does the money go from corporations that get fined millions and even billions for doing illegal stuff?

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For example when VW got fined for the emissions thing and got fined who did they pay? Or for example I saw in the news Carnival fined 20 mil for pollution. Well who do they pay? And is it put towards things or people that have been negatively impacted by actions of big corporations?

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Sometimes these go to various “victims” of the situation, but generally it simply goes to the government, much like you’d pay a parking ticket, it just goes into a government bank account.

Sometimes there are more specifics on how the “fine” money can be used or the government directs it to be used in certain ways. For example: If say you get caught dumping chemicals in a river, the government may put some or all of the fine towards clean water initiatives or something like that.

Those funds are paid to the agency that issued the fine or the treasury. Then it’s allocated for general uses in Accord with the budget. But their fines are often subject to a suspension or reduction by agreement and often is written off on their taxes. A billion dollar fine might cost them 1/4 in cash.

Fines go into the governments coffers, but will often get redirected to the budgets of the relevant programs. IE: Traffic/parking tickets go towards the department of roads or transportation. Pollution fines go towards environmental programs. Anti-trust/trade fines may go towards consumer protection programs.