Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein announced yesterday the creation of an asset forfeiture and money laundering section for his office. Read the news release here.
The new section will work with state and local authorities to handle federal, civil and criminal forfeitures and provide guidance on money laundering and other cases involving financial crimes.
Rosenstein — a Bush holdover supported by Maryland Democratic Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin — told the Maryland Daily Record that he has “beefed up” his office’s work on these crimes because the Justice Department has encouraged the U.S. Attorneys to “follow the money” in mortgage fraud and other financial criminal cases.
“It takes a certain amount of expertise to trace that money and be familiar with the asset forfeiture provisions to be able to seize that money,” Rosenstein told the newspaper.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stefan Cassella will lead the unit. He was sworn in yesterday after serving in the Justice Department Criminal Division as assistant chief of the asset forfeiture and money laundering Section from 1994 to 2002 and the deputy chief from 2002 to 2007.
He will oversee Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Kay, a 19-year veteran of the office specializing in asset forfeiture, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christen Sproule, who started at the office in January to assist with asset forfeiture and restitution matters. The section will also include supervisory paralegal LaTonia Kelly and paralegal specialist Naquita Ervin.