Posts Tagged ‘B. Todd Jones’
Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

B. Todd Jones (Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi)

Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones on Tuesday announced the creation of the Civil Frauds Unit in the office’s Civil Division.

The unit will focus on fraud in several areas, including financial, health care, mortgages, banks and federal grants.

The unit will work with the office’s Criminal Division in handling fraud cases and freezing assets before indictments are filed. The unit will also team up with the Civil Division’s Asset Forfeiture Unit to freeze and seize money in pending criminal fraud cases for use as restitution to victims.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry Wilhelm will be leading the new unit. While Wilhelm will be the only prosecutor solely dedicated to the unit, at least a couple other civil litigators will spend the majority of their time working on civil fraud, according to spokeswoman Jeanne Cooney.

“Fraudsters can be found in almost every community in the country. No area is immune from these people, who prey on the trust or vulnerabilities of others,” Jones said in a prepared statement. He added, “Over the past several years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has prosecuted a number of such individuals and will continue to do so. It is our hope that this new Civil Frauds Unit, where combating fraud will be the focus each and every day, will enhance our efforts.”

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Speakers (from left to right) U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, U.S. Marshal Sharon Lubinski, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) at the department's "Serving Openly, With Pride" event during LGBT Pride Month (photo by Channing Turner / Main Justice).

At an event in the Great Hall Monday honoring the contributions of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department is working to “[live] up to its responsibility to provide a work environment where every employee is respected and given an equal opportunity to thrive.”

Holder also pointed to the Obama administration’s accomplishments on LGBT issues including the new federal hate crimes law — the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act that the president signed into law in October — and the Justice Department’s recent decision that the Violence Against Women Act covers same-sex partners.

“We have much to celebrate today. In the year since we last gathered, our nation – and the Justice Department – have taken steps to address some of the unique challenges faced by members of our country’s LGBT community,” said Holder in remarks at the annual DOJ LGBT Pride Month event.

DOJ Pride was founded in 1994, and flourished when Janet Reno was Attorney General. Attorneys General John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales later banned the group from using Justice Department facilities. Attorney General Michael Mukasey welcomed DOJ Pride back to the Great Hall in 2008, and DOJ Pride President Chris Hook said the event has grown in size since the Obama administration took over in January 2009.

Budget Analyst and DOJ Pride President Christopher Hook receives the James R. Douglass Award at the "Serving Openly, With Pride" event (photo by Channing Turner / Main Justice).

During his remarks, Holder also touted the DOJ’s new Diversity Management Plan — which calls for greater diversity in such areas as hiring, promotions and retention — and the appointment of former acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Channing Phillips to manage the implementation of the plan as Deputy Associate Attorney General for Diversity.

“With this initiative, and with Channing’s leadership, we’re working to ensure that the department can effectively recruit, hire, retain, and develop a workforce that reflects our nation’s rich diversity, a department that welcomes and encourages the contributions of its LGBT employees,” Holder said.

Holder did not address some of the controversies that LGBT advocates have raised with the Department of Justice, such as the DOJ’s defense of the Defense of Marriage Act and the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez introduced the keynote speaker, U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan, the first openly gay federal prosecutor to head a U.S Attorney’s office.

“What a difference two years makes,” Durkan said. “Today I stand before you as the first openly gay U.S. Attorney. But I can promise you I’m not the last. In fact, today there are three Senate confirmed openly gay U.S. Attorneys in America.

“Two followed me. I started a trend. But I do want to point out, they’re all women. So guys, you need to step it up,” Durkan joked.

She also praised Holder’s work on the LGBT issues, saying that “there is nobody more committed to equality and justice across America than our Attorney General Eric Holder.”

Sharon Lubinski, the first openly gay U.S. Marshal, also spoke at the ceremony and was introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

Officials in attendance at the event included Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division Tony West; Assistant Attorney General Ignacia Moreno of the Environment and Natural Resources Division; U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana Jim Letten; U.S. Attorney for Minnesota B. Todd Jones; U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman; and Chris Dudley, Deputy Director of the U.S. Marshals Service.

DOJ Pride also gave out three awards, including to two local advocates for same-sex marriage. D.C. Councilmember David A. Catania, the force behind the law that made same-sex marriage legal in the District of Columbia, received the Gerald B. Roemer Community Service Award along with Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler. Gansler was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia under then-U.S. Attorney Holder.

Hook received the James R. Douglass Award for his leadership of DOJ Pride. He took over in 2006, when the group had shrank dramatically during the Bush administration, but it has since grown back to the size it was during the Clinton administration.

Hook made it clear when he took over the organization in 2006 that DOJ Pride “did not intend to go into hiding,” said Marc Salans, Assistant Director of the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management, who presented the award.

The event was sponsored by the Department of Justice, the Justice Management Division’s Equal Employment Opportunity staff and DOJ Pride.

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday that President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget will help address issues of sexual assault.

Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, Attorney General Eric Holder and Director of the Office of Violence Against Women Susan B. Carbon (photo by Ryan J. Reilly).

The event, held in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month, is the first held in the Great Hall to address the issue of sexual assault, said Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli.

Holder said that for the first time, the Office for Victims of Crime set aside $100 million specifically to address violence against women. It also set aside $30 million for the Sexual Assault Services Program — doubling its budget from the previous year — and an additional $9 million for the Legal Assistance for Victims Program, bringing its budget to $50 million.

“We all know what we’re up against,” said Holder. “Confronting this reality is very difficult, it’s often painful, but it’s also very important.”

“I will ensure that this department and our partners have the resources to combat sexual assault and bring offenders to justice. This issue is deeply important to me,” said Holder. “During a career spent as a prosecutor, a judge, and as a United States Attorney, I have seen the effects of sexual violence in the courtroom and far beyond. I understand how these crimes devastate lives, families and whole communities.”

Attendees at the event included Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson, Assistant Attorney General Tony West and Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones. Holder recognized Breuer, Robinson and West for their visits to campuses around the country to discuss violence against women and Jones for his leadership on the issue as chairman of the Attorney General Advisory Committee.

Speakers at the event included Susan B. Carbon, a former judge who assumed her duties as director of the Office of Violence Against Women on April 2, and Catherine Pierce, the deputy director of the Office of Violence Against Women.

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

The people — 145 of them, anyway — have spoken.

B. Todd Jones (Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi)

Main Justice polled readers last month on their choice for a new Deputy Attorney General. The survey registered a decisive, er, 14-vote victory for Minnesota’s B. Todd Jones, a repeat U.S. Attorney and chairman of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys.

Jones first served as U.S. Attorney in Minnesota from 1998 to 2001. He sat out the Bush administration, as a partner at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi in Minneapolis specializing in complex business litigation and corporate criminal defense.

Jones was confirmed again as U.S. Attorney in August, and shortly thereafter Attorney General Eric Holder tapped him to chair the AGAC, a powerful policy body that meets with top department officials about once every six weeks.

Last month, Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler replaced David Ogden, who left over his differences with the Attorney General.

For more on the other candidates, read our earlier post.

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

The DAG candidates, from top left: Gary Grindler; David Kris; B. Todd Jones; Daniel Marcus; Thomas Perrelli; and Christine Varney. (Main Justice compilation)

In his “In the Loop Column” today, The Washington Post’s Al Kamen notes a new candidate for Deputy Attorney General: American University law school professor Dan Marcus, who was general counsel to the 9/11 Commission.

During the Clinton administration, he held several senior positions in the Justice Department, including Associate Attorney General. He appears to be something of a consensus candidate — a former senior counsel in the White House who is well-received in the law enforcement community.

Other hopefuls, according to Kamen and our own reporting, include acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler, current Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli and Assistant Attorney General for National Security David Kris.

Grindler’s front-office experience gives him a leg up, and he’s more than proven his law enforcement chops. Kris, too, is a well-regarded manager and, inarguably, one the department’s top minds on national security — an obvious strength in the current climate (or any climate, for that matter). But the White House is said to favor someone with more political savvy.

Perrelli is a popular manager with strong ties to the White House. His candidacy apparently suffers for the reason above, only flipped: He may be too close to Obama, and coupled with Holder’s proximity to the President, the Justice Department could have an appearance problem.

Our dark horse: Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust. She’s also said to be an internal candidate, and she’s very ambitious. On the merits, she also has strong management experience and a lot of political clout, but her lack of law enforcement bona fides is an obvious strike.

Honorable mention: B. Todd Jones, the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota. (And also a name uttered on the Fifth Floor.) He was U.S. Attorney during the Clinton administration, which makes him a more traditional pick: It’s a long-standing practice to pluck DAGs from the 94 prosecutor offices. And he’s chairman of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorney, a key policy role.

Tips are welcomed. Vote below for your pick on our current batch of candidates.

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Attorney General Eric Holder today appointed three U.S. Attorneys to his Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC).

The group is an influential policy-making and advisory body that serves as the voice of U.S. Attorneys throughout the country.

The new members of the advisory panel are Sanford Coats, of the Western District of Oklahoma; Steven M. Dettelbach, of the Northern District of Ohio; and Jim Letten, of the Eastern District of Louisiana.

The Justice Department news release gave brief biographical data on each of the new members.

Holder noted that AGAC, which was created in 1973, provides advice to the attorney general on policy, management and operational matters affecting the U.S. Attorneys Offices.

The AGAC now has 15 members. Its chairman is B. Todd Jones, U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota.

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Carmen Ortiz (Adelphi University)

Attorney General Eric Holder will attend a ceremonial swearing-in Monday for Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, a spokesperson for Ortiz’s office told Main Justice.

Ortiz was officially sworn in on Nov. 9, a few days after the Senate confirmed her. But U.S. Attorneys often have a later ceremonial investiture with local, state and federal leaders in attendance.

The Attorney General has attended six U.S. Attorney investitures so far. He was at the swearing-in ceremonies for Paul Fishman in New Jersey, Timothy Heaphy in the Western District of Virginia, Neil MacBride in the Eastern District of Virginia, Preet Bharara in the Southern District of New York, B. Todd Jones in Minnesota and  Joyce Vance in the Northern District of Alabama.

Read our previous article here about the warm glow U.S. Attorneys get when the Attorney General shows up at their swearing-in ceremonies.

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Attorney General Eric Holder is slated to attend the swearing-in ceremony for the New Jersey U.S. Attorney on Monday, the Justice Department announced today.

Paul Fishman (Friedman, Kaplan, Seiler & Adelman)

Paul Fishman (Friedman, Kaplan, Seiler & Adelman)

Paul Fishman officially took the helm of the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office on Oct. 14. The Senate confirmed him on Oct. 7. Later that month, Holder tapped Fishman to be on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys, a body that serves as the voice of the U.S. Attorneys at DOJ headquarters in Washington.

Fishman replaced Ralph Marra, who served as acting U.S. Attorney after Republican Chris Christie stepped down to mount a successful run for governor.

The Attorney General has attended five U.S. Attorney investitures thus far. He was at the swearing-in ceremonies for Timothy Heaphy in the Western District of Virginia, Neil MacBride in the Eastern District of Virginia, Preet Bharara in the Southern District of New York, B. Todd Jones in Minnesota and  Joyce Vance in the Northern District of Alabama.

Read our previous article here about the warm glow U.S. Attorneys get when the AG shows up at their investitures.

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Tim Heaphy and Eric Holder at Friday's swearing in ceremony (Gregory Wood)

Tim Heaphy and Eric Holder at Friday's swearing in ceremony (Gregory Wood)

Tim Heaphy was sworn in as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virgina Friday, with Attorney General Eric Holder on hand, along with Heaphy’s family, friends and colleagues. Holder later delivered a glowing speech to a packed house at the University of Virginia’s law school in Charlottesville, Heaphy’s alma mater. Friday’s swearing-in was ceremonial; he officially took the post on Oct. 16, just two days after he was confirmed by the Senate.

Attorneys General rarely leave Washington to attend swearing in ceremonies, but this marked the fourth fifth time Holder has done so.

Holder has deployed the power of his office in order to spotlight rising stars within the department and to draw subtle contrasts with the Bush administration. Holder was one of Heaphy’s first bosses — hiring him as the assistant U.S. attorney in Washington’s federal district.

During his remarks, Holder said Heaphy quickly became his go-to-guy in the Washington office.

“I have no doubt he will handle his new responsibilities as he handed his previous responsibilities — with confidence, diligence and, most importantly, integrity,” Holder said.

Holder also emphasized his priorities as the country’s chief prosecutor during the speech, stressing the importance of law enforcement and keeping citizens safe.

In addition to Heaphy, Holder has attended the ceremonial investitures for U.S. Attorneys Joyce Vance in the Northern District of Alabama, B. Todd Jones in Minnesota and Preet Bharara in the Southern District of New York.

Heaphy said that he had not sought the position, but was happy for the opportunity. In an interview with WVIR, a Charlottesville television station, he said he would put increased emphasis on rural issues such as the abuse of prescription drugs and methamphetamines and on urban problems such as open-air drug sales and violence.

But Heaphy added that he would not be governed solely by his personal priorities: “The priority is often dictated by events, God forbid there is a terrible tragedy like the Virginia Tech shooting. Prosecutors who articulate priorities, quickly get overtaken by emergencies.”

After nearly 13 years prosecuting cases in federal courts, Heaphy spent three years at the Charlottesville law firm McGuire Woods LLP.

Heaphy replaces acting U.S. Attorney Julia C. Dudley, who stepped in for John Brownlee after he resigned in 2008 in order to make an eventually unsuccessful run for the GOP nomination for Virginia attorney general.

Also in attendance at the ceremony was Heaphy’s father-in-law, Eric K. Shinseki, secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Forbes magazine last week released its list of the top 10 CEOs who “showed enough greed, hubris and chutzpah” to give confessed Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff “a run for his (stolen) money.”

We’ve added some information that Forbes left off its list — the top federal prosecutors who get to go after these alleged financial fraudsters, even though some of the investigations began before their time.

Preet Bharara in his first major news conference Nov. 5.  The Manhattan U.S. Attorney announced the arrests of 14 people in an alleged insider trading ring around hedge fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam. (Getty Images)

Preet Bharara in his first major news conference Nov. 5. The Manhattan U.S. Attorney announced the arrests of 14 people in an alleged insider trading ring around hedge fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam. (Getty Images)

Winning a conviction in a high-profile financial case adds a notch to a U.S. Attorney’s belt. A prosecutor might even get to step out at a news conference or two, as Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara did on Nov. 5 when announcing insider trading arrests related to the Galleon hedge fund run by billionaire Raj Rajaratnam.

To be sure, not everyone on the Forbes list is accused of an actual crime. With that caveat, we present Forbes’s “Biggest CEO Outrages of 2009″ list:

1. Lloyd Blankfein. The chairman and CEO made $73 million in 2007 and $25 million in 2008, as the economy entered a deep recession. Although his salary is not a legal offense, Forbes deemed it practically criminal.

2. John Thain. The former CEO of Merrill Lynch approved $3.62 billion in bonuses for his executives last December as the company was being taken over by Bank of America and reporting a fourth-quarter loss of $15.3 billion.

3. Raj Rajaratnam. The founder of the hedge fund Galleon Group was charged with insider trading which allegedly helped him earn more than $33 million in illicit profits. He is being prosecuted in Manhattan by Bharara’s office.

4. Byrraju Ramalinga Raju. The founder of the Indian outsourcing company Satyam Computer Services in January confessed to overstating the company’s profits and fabricating its cash balance of more than $1 billion. He hasn’t been charged.

5. Thomas Petters. The former CEO and chairman of Petters Group Worldwide was charged with orchestrating a $3.5 billion pyramid scheme fraud. He is being prosecuted by the office of Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones.

6. Edward M. Liddy. The former CEO of American International Group (AIG) faced criticism this year for high salaries and bonuses in addition to expensive retreats the company funded after receiving a considerable sum as part of the bank bailout of 2008.

7. Danny Pang. The founder of Private Equity Management Group was accused of running a Ponzi scheme that defrauded his investors of hundreds of millions of dollars. Pangdied of an apparent suicide in September at age 42. Had he lived, he would have been prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles, currently headed by acting U.S. Attorney George S. Cardona.

8. R. Allen Stanford. The Texas financier allegedly sold $7 billion worth of certificates of deposit through his Stanford International Bank and misappropriated most of the money. He is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, currently headed by interim U.S. Attorney Tim Johnson. UPDATE: Stanford also is being prosecuted by the fraud section of DOJ’s criminal division.

9. David Rubin. The head of CDR Financial Products was indicted in October on charges of conspiracy and fraud related to rigging auctions to help determine which banks would assist governments in raising money. He will be prosecuted by Bharara’s office in Manhattan.

10. Robert Moran. The CEO of Moran Yacht & Ship pleaded guilty to tax fraud to avoid indictment. He also promised to pay back taxes and penalties and cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service. He was prosecuted by the office of  R. Alexander Acosta, then-U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.