Charles E. Duross, a deputy chief of the Justice Department’s Fraud Section and head of its unit on foreign bribery, received special recognition today for his role in the prosecution of former Louisiana Rep. William J. Jefferson.
Duross was one of 282 people recognized for their service at a ceremony for the Attorney General’s Award at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., where Attorney General Eric Holder bestowed the Distinguished Service Award on Duross and 14 other current and former Justice Department and F.B.I. officials involved in the Jefferson case.
Jefferson, a Democrat and the first African American congressman to represent the state in the post-Civil War era, was sentenced to 13 years in prison, the longest term ever imposed on any current or former U.S. legislator, for convictions on bribery, honest services fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and violations of the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, according to the statement.
Jefferson was convicted of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act but was acquitted on a substantive FCPA charge. Investigators at one point found $90,000 inside Jefferson’s freezer after he had been filmed taking bribes from a government informant. The conviction was upheld in April.
Duross in March defended what he called the FCPA unit’s “mixed results” in bringing FCPA cases.
The Jefferson case was prosecuted in the Eastern District of Virginia, outside Washington. Along with Duross, other department personnel recognized for the case were Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jack Hanly, Rebeca Bellows and Mark D. Lytle; Paralegal Crystal Griego; and Technical Assistant Jermaine M. Ragin; from the District of Columbia’s Appellate Division, Chief Roy W. McLeese III; from the District of Columbia, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael K. Atkinson and David B. Goodhand; from the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, Duross and former Trial Attorney Amanda Aikman; from the Criminal Division’s Appellate Section, Trial Attorney Stephan E. Oestreicher Jr.; from the FBI, Special Agents John Longmire and Timothy R. Thibault; from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Special Agents Edward S. Cooper(retired) and Daniel T. Gallagher (retired).