The Hyde Amendment allows a criminal defendant to recoup attorney fees and expenses from the federal government in extreme situations. A defendant must show that he/she is a prevailing party and that the United States position against the defendant is vexatious, frivolous, or in bad faith. The exception is if an award of attorney fees and expenses would be unjust.
It is designed as a check on federal prosecutions.
A prosecution by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas crossed that difficult to prove threshold, and the court ordered the federal government to pay $391,292.29 to the defendant. The judge clearly stated that taxpayers will end up paying for the abuses of the United States, but that a message needed to be given to the United States.
Read more in the White Collar Crime Prof Blog post titled Hyde Amendment Recovery.
Download the order (click on the link at the end of the White Collar Crime Prof Blog post). The abuse of government officials should shock you.