Posts Tagged ‘H. Marshall Jarrett’
Thursday, July 1st, 2010

It wasn’t because of controversies about Mary Beth Buchanan. Or Chris Christie. The Department of Justice swears.

New rules that  ensure U.S. Attorneys don’t travel on the taxpayer dime for political purposes are the result of a review process that found the previous guidelines to be confusing, the department said.

Mary Beth Buchanan (Mary Beth Buchanan for Congress)

“The previous policies and procedures were admittedly inconsistent — and the new memo was a result of a comprehensive review of all travel rules and regulations,” Justice Department spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz said in a statement. “Moving forward, this memo will serve as the single set of guidelines for the U.S. Attorney community, and all other guidance will be based off this memo.”

The Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys updates policies and procedures as needed, Schwartz said. “These updated procedures reflect goals of improved transparency and stewardship of taxpayer dollars,” she added.

The new guidelines came to light earlier this week in a story by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette after the newspaper filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the travel records of Buchanan, the former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Those records indicated that Buchanan spent more than half her time on the road, costing taxpayers $450,000.

Appointed during the George W. Bush administration, Buchanan resigned Nov. 16 to run for the Republication nomination for the 4th congressional district in Pennsylvania. She lost that race in May to former Department of Homeland Security official Keith Rothfus.

In New Jersey, a former U.S. Attorney’s travel expenses were an issue in last year’s governor’s race. Incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine (D) used a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain travel records for Christie, his Republican opponent. The records showed the prosecutor often exceeded his government allowance and stayed in luxury hotels while serving as the state’s chief federal prosecutor. Christie won the election.

The new travel policy memo, sent to U.S. Attorneys’ offices in February and authored by Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys Director H. Marshall Jarrett, said the revamped procedures will  ensure compliance with travel policies; strengthen internal controls and oversight of U.S. Attorneys’ travel in a user-friendly process; and maintain the integrity and reputation the U.S. Attorney position. The procedures were implemented March 1.

U.S. Attorneys can approve their own travel within their district, but must get approval from the Director of EOUSA or the Deputy Director for Administration and Management if they use premium class travel accommodations or actual subsistence is requested, according to the memo.

When traveling outside of their districts domestically, the U.S. Attorney must notify the Executive Office at least five days in advance of planned departure date. If the travel is being reimbursed by a non-federal source, they must submit their request 10 days in advance and the request will be reviewed by the EOUSA’s General Counsel’s Office. Foreign travel requires authorizations to be submitted 15 days in advance, according to the new regulations.

Under the guidelines, the EOUSA will conduct audits of a sample of each U.S. Attorney’s travel authorizations and vouchers every six months to ensure offices are complying with the regulations.

DOJ rules state that travel conducted by those in higher level positions at Justice Department headquarters has to be authorized by either the Deputy Attorney General or the Associate Attorney General.

The memo is embedded below.

USA Travel

Sunday, December 6th, 2009
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530
The Executive Office for
United States Attorneys
DIRECTOR’S AWARDS CEREMONY
December 4, 2021
Great Hall
Robert F. Kennedy Main Justice Building
1983 26TH ANNIVERSARY 2009
UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS
EXECUTIVE OFF ICE FOR
A MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR
EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR
UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS
Welcome to the 26th Director’s Awards Ceremony.
We are here today to recognize the exceptional work,
dedication, and distinguished achievements of the
men and women of the Department of Justice, the
Offices of the United States Attorneys, and our
partners in the law enforcement community
nationwide.
Today’s recipients are the men and women who provide support in the
United States Attorneys’ Offices, who investigate and prosecute the most
heinous criminals, and who represent the United States in significant
criminal and civil cases protecting the taxpayers and preventing waste,
fraud and abuse. They have made major contributions to the Offices of
the United States Attorneys and to the mission of the Department of
Justice. Our honorees exemplify the best in federal service.
These individuals work to protect the rights of every citizen of this great
country, and we applaud each of them for their commitment to excellence
and unselfish dedication in their efforts to achieve justice. I am honored
to participate with the many families, friends, and colleagues of our
award recipients, and I know that you join me in congratulating all of
these remarkable individuals, each of whom has served our great nation
with distinction and integrity.
It is my honor to participate in the 26th Director’s Awards Ceremony.
Many great men and women have been recognized over the years at this
ceremony, and I feel privileged to be a part of this great tradition. On
behalf of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, thank you for
joining us in today’s ceremony and celebration.
H. Marshall Jarrett
Director
EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS
TWENTY-SIXTH DIRECTOR’S AWARDS CEREMONY
December 4, 2021
ORDER OF EVENTS
MASTER OF CEREMONIES
Terry L. Derden
PRESENTATION OF COLORS
Military District of Washington
Armed Forces Color Guard
NATIONALANTHEM
Aubrey Kathryn Meeks
WELCOME AND REMARKS
H. Marshall Jarrett, Director
Executive Office for United States Attorneys
Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Attorney General of the United States
David W. Ogden
Deputy Attorney General of the United States
PRESENTATION OF AWARDS
Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden
Director H. Marshall Jarrett
NARRATORS
Terry L. Derden
J. Mark Fleshman
Katherine Gugulis
Leslie Hagen
Daniel Villegas
Norman Wong
Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys
CLOSING REMARKS
H. Marshall Jarrett
RECEPTION
A reception honoring the award recipients and their guests will follow
immediately in Room 2266, Main Justice Building
AWARD RECIPIENTS
Award Category Page
Executive Achievement Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Superior Performance in a
Managerial or Supervisory Role . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Appreciation Award for Contributions
that Enhance the Missions of the Executive
Office for United States Attorneys and
the United States Attorneys’ Offices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Superior Performance as a Special Assistant
United States Attorney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Superior Performance as an Assistant
United States Attorney - Criminal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Superior Performance as an Assistant
United States Attorney - Civil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Superior Performance as an Assistant
United States Attorney - Appellate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Superior Performance by a Litigative Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Superior Performance in a Litigative Support Role . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Superior Performance in Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Superior Performance by an Administrative Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Superior Performance in Indian Country . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
EXECUTIVE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
James B. Farmer (District of Massachusetts) for his dedicated
professional service to the Department of Justice for over 25 years. In the
late 1980s, he directed the most massive federal public corruption
investigation into the Boston Police Department. He went on to become
the Chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force where he oversaw the
landmark cases against Asian organized crime figures and other
international criminals. More recently, he served on the sensitive
criminal investigation of the CIA’s destruction of recordings of
interrogations of certain high value terrorism detainees. He is the longest
tenured member of the Criminal Chiefs Working Group, having served
since 1998 and as its founding Chair for three years. He presented
numerous courses at the National Advocacy Center. He also served as U.
S. Attorney from June to September 2001. Mr. Farmer has brought
analytic rigor, outstanding writing skills, excellent judgement, deep
institutional knowledge, and personal and professional credibility to each
of his many supervisory roles. He consistently sets a strong personal
example for other Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs), and
frequently goes the extra mile as a dedicated professional.
James W. Hunter (Western District of Michigan) for his 25 years of
service to the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) and for his personal
initiative, innovation, leadership and creativity in carrying out his duties
as Administrative Officer. Mr. Hunter’s dedication has long been
instrumental in leading the office, including branch offices, through
build-out and renovations of office space, acquiring state-of-the-art
technology to better enable his staff to meet the needs of the 21st century,
developing a recognized Special Emphasis Committee which has assisted
the USAO in attracting a highly motivated and diverse staff, and tirelessly
serving the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) and
other USAOs in various capacities. Mr. Hunter was a member of the
Administrative Officer Working Group from 2000-2002; he serves as an
Administrative Team Leader and evaluator for the Evaluation and Review
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
Program; he works as a mentor to newer, less experienced Administrative
Officers, and has been a panel member for numerous ad hoc working
groups for EOUSA. Throughout his career, he has been a leader in
establishing a service-oriented culture in administrative divisions
throughout the USAO community. Mr. Hunter’s service and hard work
are unique among his peers.
Kathleen M. Mehltretter (Western District of New York) for her
unparalleled commitment to pubic service, unsurpassed knowledge of the
rule of law, and uncompromising integrity. Mrs. Mehltretter’s tenure
with the Department of Justice has spanned nearly thirty years. During
the course of that tenure, she has been a leader and active participant both
within and outside of her district in litigation, policy and special projects.
She has been the long time First AUSA for the Western District of New
York, also serving at various times as the Interim U.S. Attorney. She has
also been active over the years in the Criminal Chiefs Working Group, the
Evaluation and Review Program, National prosecutions, developing task
forces to tackle new priority prosecution areas, attorney training both at
the NAC and in her home district, and ethics and professional
responsibility oversight. She has been a true friend and leader for
EOUSA, participating in scores of ad-hoc and permanent EOUSA and
Department committees over the years. She is not only respected but
renowned for her skills and abilities.
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE IN A
MANAGERIAL OR SUPERVISORY ROLE
Gentry Shelnutt (Northern District of Georgia) for his service as
Criminal Chief for over a decade. He is an outstanding manager who is
committed to doing the right thing in every case, as well as empowering
the criminal AUSAs to do their jobs without constant scrutiny. The
Department has numerous awards for AUSAs who successfully prosecute
high-profile cases. Mr. Shelnutt’s contributions to his district and
colleagues, while more understated, are no less profound. He has been
described as the “glue” that holds together a growing Criminal Division,
and as a “master conflict-resolver” who often diffuses workplace disputes
by offering a productive and fair resolution . He is often consulted on the
most difficult strategic, tactical, and ethical decisions in all types of cases.
The detailed weekly Criminal Division reports that Mr. Shelnutt compiles
and distributes were recently recognized as a “best practice” by the
Evaluation and Review program. Under Mr. Shelnutt’s leadership, the
Criminal Division is at the forefront of prosecuting major Mexican drug
cartels and combating the national crises pertaining to mortgage fraud.
He is a strong and steady supervisor who leads by example.
Richard L. Murphy (Northern District of Iowa) for his dedicated and
exemplary work as Criminal Chief and First AUSA. While serving as
Criminal Chief, he was an active member of the Criminal Chiefs Working
Group, serving as Chairperson during his last two years as a member. Mr.
Murphy faced many challenges after being named First AUSA, while still
serving as Criminal Chief. In early 2007, the district lost an usually large
number of long-serving and key management personnel, including the
U.S. Attorney, First AUSA, Administrative Officer and Budget Officer,
among others. During this period of transition, Mr. Murphy absorbed
additional duties and provided excellent counsel, not only in meeting the
short-term management needs of the office and filling vacancies, but also
in structuring a new management team to meet the District’s long-term
needs. Mr. Murphy’s leadership was instrumental in responding
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
effectively to a massive flood in June 2008 that closed the USAO’s main
office for five months. In addition, Mr. Murphy spearheaded
monumental coordination efforts with numerous federal agencies in
preparation for the office’s execution of a massive criminal worksite
enforcement operation. He is an exemplar of hard work, integrity, and
dedication.
Robert J. Higdon, Jr. (Eastern District of North Carolina) for his
superb supervisory skills as Criminal Chief. Since he joined the office
in 2002, it has experienced substantial growth and change. During his
tenure, he reorganized the Criminal Division to maximize the use of
available resources. He encourages AUSAs to perform diverse duties and
was instrumental in developing a policy to allow compressed work
schedules for both support and attorney staff. He routinely works with
the office’s Administrative Division to strengthen efforts to successfully
hire, train, and retain a skilled and diverse workforce. Mr. Higdon also
provides effective leadership to the prosecution of numerous high-profile
cases, including the prosecution of a CIA contractor who assaulted and
killed an Afghani national who was being held in a United States prison
facility in Afghanistan and 22 corrupt law enforcement officers for long
term racketeering activities. As a result of his leadership and resource
allocations, the district has been able to dramatically increase its firearms
prosecutions. A recent noteworthy initiative of his involves partnering
with Kosovo to provide training and support to improve the quality and
quantity of investigations and the criminal conviction rate. He has
demonstrated unwavering dedication to his office and the Department of
Justice while providing strong and professional leadership.
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
APPRECIATION AWARD FOR CONTRIBUTIONS THAT
ENHANCE THE MISSIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE
FOR UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS AND THE
UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS’ OFFICES
Kenneth Dintzer (Federal Courts Section, Civil Division) for his
consistent support of the mission of EOUSA and USAOs for the last ten
years. He is dedicated to teaching both substantive law and practice skills
for the Office of Legal Education (OLE) and he does so in an engaging
manner which enables students to integrate and successfully apply the
techniques learned in both pretrial and courtroom practice. His
commitment to nurturing the students is evident both in the exemplary
manner that he fulfilled his assigned faculty duties, as well as his
willingness to mentor students both before and after the formal classroom
sessions. During the past year, Mr. Dinzter’s contributions were
particularly important. Given the large number of newly hired AUSAand
Department attorneys, it was critical that the NAC adapt many of its Civil
intensive practicum-based courses, which were built on a 40-student
model, to accommodate 60-80 students per session. Mr. Dinzter was
instrumental in developing the new Pretrial Practice course format which
is able to accommodate up to 100 students per session, while preserving
important hands-on learning segments. Mr. Dinzter exemplifies
excellence in advocacy as a trial attorney and in his commitment to the
educational development of his fellow Department attorneys.
Paul Suddes (Executive Office for United States Attorneys) for his
service and commitment to EOUSA during a critical period of time. In
September 2007, Mr. Suddes was asked by the former EOUSA Director
to accept a short detail to Washington, DC to serve as Acting Deputy
Director for Administration in EOUSA. The short detail turned into a
two-year stay. In this capacity, Mr. Suddes supervised the functions of
EOUSA’s administrative staffs, as well as the management of the Chief
Operating, Financial, and Information Offices. Also during his tenure,
due to staff vacancies and a reorganization, he served as the Acting Chief
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
Information Officer, the Acting Administrative Officer and the Acting
Chief Operating Officer. Upon his arrival, Mr. Suddes promptly rolled up
his sleeves and began to tackle his new duties and responsibilities. He
immersed himself in the budget process, dove into the massive
technology projects which were underway (CDCS, LCMS), and took
great pride in learning all he could about the issues/concerns in security,
personnel, facilities and all of the other administrative areas under his
supervision. During his tenure, he served as counselor and advisor on all
administrative matters for each of EOUSA’s Assistant Directors. Mr.
Suddes’s tremendous work ethic, leadership qualities, commitment to
excellence and service to the field, and technical expertise made him an
essential component of EOUSA’s senior management team. His
contributions and impact on EOUSA has been immeasurable.
Patrick S. Vincent (Executive Office for United States Attorneys) for
taking a leading role in educating USAOs to manage their FLUs more
productively. He recently oversaw wholesale revisions to the Evaluation
and Review Program’s financial litigation evaluation materials and took
a leading role in formulating the Financial Litiagation Unit (FLU)
Management Standards and developing the FLU Compliance Checklist,
which are the structure of the financial litagation evaluation. Performing
these tasks often involved resolving inconsistencies with EOUSA and
USAO components. In addition, Mr. Vincent has made numerous followup
trips to USAOs to assist them in resolving negative assessments and
to personally mentor and train FLU AUSAs and paralegals. He
developed training programs at the National Advocacy Center on
restitution, as well as new evaluator training. On a daily basis, Mr.
Vincent’s actions enhance the missions of EOUSA and USAOs
nationwide.
Dexter A. Lee (Southern District of Florida) for consistently
supporting the National Advocacy Center over the last ten years through
his dedicated teaching at substantive law and trial skills courses. Since
June 1998, Mr. Lee has taught at 44 different courses at the NAC,
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
including Criminal and Civil Immigration, Criminal Federal Practice,
Grand Jury, Working with Cooperators and Confidential Informants, Title
III, Money Laundering, Intermediate Criminal Trial Skills, and Ethics’
Officers Conferences. Mr. Lee taught at seven courses in FY08 and six
courses in FY09 to date. Mr. Lee’s Legal Ethics and Brady/Giglio Issues
presentations are critical to new AUSA training and consistently garner
the highest ratings of the course. Mr. Lee’s Brady/Giglio presentation
outlining an AUSA’s discovery obligations is considered so effective and
timely that OLE has added a video tape of this presentation to its Video
On Demand library for viewing by all Department attorneys. Mr. Lee’s
service and commitment to advocacy is outstanding.
Paul A. Murphy (District of Virgin Islands) for his hard work,
perseverance, and dedication during his tenure as acting United States
Attorney. During his tenure, Mr. Murphy was unwavering in his
determination to address the numerous issues faced by the USAO during
a difficult period in which the Virgin Islands witnessed a staggering rise
in crime and an unprecedented murder rate. To help address this problem,
he took the lead in coordinating a federal law enforcement response to the
request by the Virgin Islands Governor, Attorney General and Police
Commissioner to assist them with their crime problems in a significant
way. In doing so, he organized and coordinated federal resources,
established sensitive alliances with local officials and reached out to the
public in meaningful ways. He also led by example, tackling difficult
cases and securing convictions. In addition to this, he provided direct and
insightful oversight to every division of the USAO. Mr. Murphy did an
outstanding job as acting United States Attorney and courageously faced
each challenge that confronted the office.
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE AS A SPECIAL ASSISTANT
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
Christine M. Thoreson and Erin E. White (Municipality of
Anchorage, Alaska) for their work combating recent problems in gang
violence occurring in Anchorage. Both Ms. Thoreson and Ms. White
work closely with the Safe Streets Task Force made up of law
enforcement from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the
Anchorage Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives. In the past year and a half, Special AUSAs
Thoreson and White have indicted and convicted approximately 70
suspected gang members, many of whom were targeted after committing
acts of violence within Anchorage, such as drive-by shootings and
assaults. These individuals have been sentenced collectively to over 375
years in prison. As a result of their work and the unique partnership
between the Municipality of Anchorage and the Department of Justice,
the number of incidents of gang related violence has significantly
decreased and the City of Anchorage has become a safer place to live and
work.
Richard E. Reed (Antitrust Division) for his remarkably good work in
the complex investigation and successful prosecution of a massive $112
million mortgage fraud scheme that resulted in the conviction of 27
defendants, including the scheme’s mastermind, Phillip E. Hill. The Hill
case was the largest single mortgage fraud case in metro Atlanta history
and among the largest mortgage fraud cases in the nation. Those
convicted included Hill, his lieutenants, closing attorneys, appraisers,
loan officers, and straw purchasers. Special AUSA Reed working with
AUSA Barbara Nelan of the Northern District of Georgia USAO
collected, analyzed and organized hundreds of thousands of pages of
documents relating to over 50 homes and 250 condos involved in the
fraud scheme, then used computer technology to efficiently and
effectively present 2,400 exhibits through 90 witnesses during an eightweek
trial. Their work on this investigation and prosecution of a complex
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
case advancing one of the Department’s highest priorities exemplifies
dedication, diligence, and quality performance in the best tradition of the
Department.
Karen E. Kelly (Tax Division) for her extraordinary dedication and skill
in investigating and prosecuting the largest personal income tax evasion
case brought in the United States. In United States v. Anderson, Walter
Anderson masterminded an elaborate scheme involving several foreign
corporations to conceal approximately $450 million in earnings from
business ventures and to evade payment of more than $200 million in
federal income taxes and District of Columbia use taxes. Anderson
pleaded guilty to two counts of federal tax evasion and one count of
defrauding the District of Columbia and was sentenced to nine years of
imprisonment and ordered to pay restitution. Because of Ms. Kelly’s and
AUSA Susan Menzer’s exemplary work and unshakeable determination
in this difficult and complex case, justice triumphed and a strong message
was sent that federal prosecutors will work tirelessly to unravel even the
most complicated tax evasion schemes.
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE AS AN
ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY - CRIMINAL
David L. Gappa (Eastern District of California) for his work since
2004 prosecuting offenses involving child sexual exploitation. During
this time he obtained more than 120 indictments, successfully tried more
than seven cases, and handled numerous appeals. Each case resulted in a
conviction with sentences of up to 30 years. Many investigations and
prosecutions led to the discovery and end of ongoing child sexual abuse.
In one case, a defendant in Fresno was debriefed and the information led
to a suspect in Iowa with whom images of child pornography had been
traded. That individual had molested 23 minors and documented the
abuse of 20 victims in still and video images. Mr. Gappa has also given
numerous presentations to educators, law enforcement officers, and
prosecutors at the local, regional, and national level on issues related to
the federal prosecution of offenses involving the sexual exploitation of
minors, and he has coordinated internet safety presentations at numerous
schools.
William P. Cole and John B. Owens (Southern District of California)
for their outstanding efforts in the successful prosecution, trial and
sentencing in United States v. Treadwell. Since 2005, AUSAs Cole and
Owens were investigating a series of complex investment fraud schemes
involving attorneys, investment brokers, a real estate agent, and other
“investment gurus.” This global investigation, called “Operation Golden
Pyramid,” resulted in a series of convictions, culminating in a month-long
trial in which the lead defendant, Randall Treadwell, received a 300-
month sentence. His chief lieutenant, Ricky Sluder, received a 188-
month sentence. Other defendants received sentences ranging from 63 to
87 months. Their unrivaled work ethic, legal and technological creativity,
and exemplary advocacy skills secured the conviction of individuals who
might accurately be characterized as economic predators of the first order
and who had perpetrated a nation-wide Ponzi scheme.
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
Michael P. Carey and John M. Haried (District of Colorado) for their
outstanding professional achievement in the successful prosecution of an
owner and officers of BestBank of Boulder, Colorado, and two
businessmen – a group of defendants whose fraudulent scheme cost
American taxpayers more than $200 million. After a lengthy
investigation, a grand jury returned a 95-count indictment, charging the
owner and chief executive officer of the bank, Edward Mattar; the bank
president, Thomas Boyd; and the chief financial officer, Jack Grace. Also
charged were the Florida businessmen, Douglas Baetz and Glenn Gallant.
The charges were based on the defendants’ efforts to fraudulently conceal
from the bank’s board and the FDIC the delinquencies in the bank’s
subprime credit card portfolio. This portfolio, which mostly was
managed by Baetz’s and Gallant’s companies, constituted 70 percent of
BestBank’s assets. Ultimately, after months of protracted motions
practice, two trials, a dismissal of the jury and resuming the trial as a trial
of the court, all defendants were found guilty. Sentences ranged from six
to ten years.
Susan B. Menzer (District of Columbia) for her extraordinary
dedication and skill in investigating and prosecuting the largest personal
income tax evasion case brought in the United States. In United States v.
Anderson, Walter Anderson masterminded an elaborate scheme involving
several foreign corporations to conceal approximately $450 million in
earnings from business ventures and to evade payment of more than $200
million in federal income taxes and District of Columbia use taxes.
Anderson pleaded guilty to two counts of federal tax evasion and one
count of defrauding the District of Columbia and was sentenced to nine
years of imprisonment and ordered to pay restitution. Because of Ms.
Menzer’s and Tax Division Trial Attorney Karen Kelly’s exemplary work
and unshakeable determination in this difficult and complex case, justice
triumphed and a strong message was sent that federal prosecutors will
work tirelessly to unravel even the most complicated tax evasion
schemes.
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
Benjamin W. Beard (Northern District of Florida) for excellent work
in the trial of a series of high profile, complex criminal and civil cases in
the Northern District of Florida and for his willingness to assist other
AUSAs both in his office and the District of Virgin Islands. During his
25 years with the Department, AUSA Beard has mastered virtually every
area of law an AUSA could be expected to handle. This knowledge,
coupled with his outstanding abilities in the courtroom, resulted in AUSA
Beard being consistently assigned some of the most difficult cases in the
district, resulting in long work hours and a large diverse and complex
caseload. In spite of his workload, AUSABeard frequently volunteers for
additional duties and is always ready to assist other AUSAs. AUSA
Beard is a consummate professional with superior knowledge of the law,
work ethic, and character.
Barbara E. Nelan (Northern District of Georgia) for her remarkably
good work in the complex investigation and successful prosecution of a
massive $112 million mortgage fraud scheme that resulted in the
conviction of 27 defendants, including the scheme’s mastermind, Phillip
E. Hill. The Hill case was the largest single mortgage fraud case in metro
Atlanta history and among the largest mortgage fraud cases in the nation.
Those convicted included Hill, his lieutenants, closing attorneys,
appraisers, loan officers, and straw purchasers. AUSA Nelan working
with Special AUSA Robert Reed of the Antitrust Division collected,
analyzed, and organized hundreds of thousands of pages of documents
relating to over 50 homes and 250 condos involved in the fraud scheme,
then used computer technology to efficiently and effectively present
2,400 exhibits through 90 witnesses during an eight-week trial. Their
work on this investigation and prosecution of a complex case advancing
one of the Department’s highest priorities exemplifies dedication,
diligence, and quality performance in the best tradition of the
Department.
Julie B. Porter (Northern District of Illinois) for being a leader and role
model as a federal prosecutor. AUSA Porter has done outstanding work
in multiple areas, which include the prosecution of the USAO’s most
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
serious child exploitation cases including a pedophile priest and a
pedophile school principal; spearheading the district’s Project Safe
Childhood efforts, which includes training prosecutors to work on these
cases and providing counsel at every stage; and playing key roles in the
prosecution of corporate fraud cases in the Conrad Black case and the
prosecution of public corruption in the Hired Truck scandal.
Stuart A. Berman and Michael R. Pauzé (District of Maryland) for
their dedication, talent and hard work investigating and prosecuting the
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the largest public school
systems in the United States for using his position to take kickbacks and
steer contracts. As CEO of the Prince Georges County Public School
System, Andre Hornsby was convicted of honest services wire fraud, wire
fraud, obstruction of justice and witness tampering for fraudulently
obtaining a nearly $1 million contract for technology software and
obstructing the school board inquiry and federal criminal investigation
into his conduct. After two lengthy and hard fought trials, Hornsby was
convicted at trial and sentenced to serve six years in federal prison.
Robert R. Harding and Michael C. Hanlon (District of Maryland) for
persevering through six years of tenacious investigation and litigation to
bring to justice an exceedingly violent crew of killers, whom the trial
judge described as the worst defendants he had seen in his career on the
bench. The investigation demonstrated extraordinary creativity and
perseverance and provided an outstanding example of constructive
cooperation between local and federal law enforcement agencies.
Consolidation of historical evidence linked those crimes and established
that the four defendants were long-term associates in many other serious
crimes. The prosecution resulted in the convictions of four men for RICO
conspiracy and five murders in aid of racketeering. Three defendants
received multiple life sentences; one received imprisonment of 40 years.
Hagen W. Frank (Western District of Michigan) for his superior efforts
in conducting a complex grand jury investigation of a loosely organized
group of ecological terrorists responsible for multiple acts of sabotage
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
and arson over a 10-year period of time. The grand jury investigation
solved over eight individual acts of eco-terrorism resulting in the
conviction of five eco-terrorists in the district. The same grand jury
investigation also led to the identification and prosecution of ecoterrorists
in other districts. Sentences in these cases ranged from 36
months to 21 years 10 months imprisonment. The remarkable results are
directly attributable to the tireless efforts of AUSA Frank.
Thomas W. Dawson and Bob Norman (Northern District of
Mississippi) for their outstanding work on the investigation and
prosecution of United States v. Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, et al. Their
unparalleled dedication, skill, and judgment in this highly sensitive case
with national attention resulted in convictions of all defendants. The
team performed flawlessly, exhibiting extraordinary performance under
pressure while executing tactical and strategic decisions in the successful
prosecution that exposed a pattern of attempts to influence the judiciary.
Their work has made a lasting positive impact on the Mississippi courts,
attorneys, and our system of justice.
William E. Morse (District of New Hampshire) for his skill,
persistence, judgment, hard work and professionalism in the difficult and
very hotly contested investigation and trial of a corporate book-cooking
scheme at Enterasys Networks, Inc. Mr. Morse led the large scale
investigation and the resulting prosecution of this case from start to
finish. Before, during, and after the trial, Mr. Morse was a highly
effective advocate on behalf of the government, even in the face of an
extraordinarily vigorous defense. He worked tirelessly and demonstrated
creativity and excellent judgment. As a result of his efforts, the
government obtained convictions against eight high level executives at
Enterasys, including its Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial
Officer, and the court imposed sentences of up to twelve years – among
the longest ever imposed for the types of offenses in the case. Without
Mr. Morse’s contributions, those results could not have been possible.
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
Ralph J. Marra, Jr. and Joshua Drew (District of New Jersey) for
their outstanding prosecution of former New Jersey State Senator Wayne
Bryant and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Dean
Michael Gallagher on official corruption charges. Senator Bryant was
one of the most powerful members of the New Jersey state government
as Chair of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and Deputy
Majority Leader. Senator Bryant induced Dr. Gallagher to put him on the
medical school payroll for a no-show job in exchange for millions of
dollars in additional state funding for Dr. Gallagher’s school. Bryant and
Gallagher were convicted of honest services mail and wire fraud and
bribery and Senator Bryant was convicted of pension fraud. This case
sent a strong signal that even the highest ranking public official is not
immune from prosecution when he trades his public office for personal
gain.
Mark J. McCarren and Paul B. Matey (District of New Jersey) for
their outstanding contributions to the prosecution of Operation Emissary,
the most successful investigation of consumers of hard-core pornography
in the Department’s history. The investigation, which employed cuttingedge
investigative techniques, resulted in more than 350 domestic felony
convictions in over 40 states including convictions of police officers,
scouting leaders, teachers, doctors, lawyers, members of the military,
prison guards, and numerous previously convicted sex offenders. The
investigation also led to the identification of more than three dozen child
molesters and dozens of victims of molestation. While the evidence
developed as a result of Operation Emissary led most defendants to plead
guilty, trials of individual defendants in nine districts have all resulted in
convictions.
William E. Fitzpatrick and Michael A. Hammer (District of New
Jersey) for the work that produced significant results in their
investigation and prosecution of United States v. Mohamad Shnewer,
Dritan Duka, Eljvir Duka, Shain Duka, and Serdar Tatar, also known as
the “Fort Dix Case,” a domestic terrorism case. Their intensive efforts
throughout the fourteen-month investigation and three-month trial
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
resulted in the exposure of a plot to murder members of the United States
military by attacking a military base, the prevention of such an attack, and
the convictions of all defendants of the most serious charge - conspiracy
to murder members of the United States military.
Gretchen L. Wylegala (Western District of New York) for her superior
performance handling four complex fraud investigations, each involving
millions of dollars and two involving hundreds of victims. In each case,
Ms. Wylegala led a multi- agency investigation, coordinating asset
forfeiture and other civil remedies while pursuing criminal charges. She
is commended for her hard work and dedication as well as her
outstanding abilities to analyze complex and voluminous financial
transactions. Her work on these cases demonstrates her ability to analyze
thousands of records and ascertain what are criminal charges. She also
has an outstanding ability to organize facts and to present them to a trial
or grand jury. Ms. Wylegala is tenacious in her quest to hunt down assets
to forfeit for the victims. Her case presentation is always well researched
and founded in the law and she manages multi-agency investigations with
ease, negotiating territorial disputes to a swift conclusion so that the
investigation moves forward. Ms. Wylegala handled these cases while
managing a normal caseload of white collar and general crimes work.
Steven S. Neff and Christopher D. Poole (Eastern District of
Tennessee) for their outstanding stewardship of the Project Safe
Neighborhoods program and Violent Crime Unit in the Chattanooga
office. From 2001 through 2004, AUSAs Poole and Neff compiled a
formidable list of convictions for violent offenders in the Chattanooga,
Tennessee area. Forty-two offenders, most of whom were armed career
criminals or career offenders for sentencing guideline purposes, were
inducted into the District’s PSN “Honor Roll.” These individuals were
sentenced to an average of 265 months. In 2005, AUSAs Poole and Neff
prosecuted 81 violent offenders and obtained an average sentence of 105
months. In 2006, AUSAs Poole and Neff prosecuted 80 violent offenders
and obtained an average sentence of 123 months. In 2007, over 57
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
violent defendants were convicted and received an average sentence of
130 months. During their years of service in the Chattanooga branch
office, the violent crime rate in the city dropped 31 percent.
Eli Richardson and David Rivera (Middle District of Tennessee) for
their roles in the investigation, prosecution and conviction, after an
extended jury trial, of former Tennessee State Senator John Ford from
2005 - 2008 . In July of 2008, Ford was convicted of multiple counts of
wire fraud and concealment of material facts in connection with receiving
over 1.4 million dollars from two different contractors of TennCare, the
State of Tennessee’s version of Medicaid. During the trial, the United
States proved that Ford sought to defraud the public out of its right to his
honest services in two different schemes while he was a sitting State
Senator. AUSAs Rivera and Richardson proved that Ford established and
concealed consulting businesses and successfully funneled concealed
payments of over $1.4 million dollars to himself and his associates in
exchange for his influence in favor of managed and health care
organizations doing business with the State of Tennessee. On September
29, 2008, Ford was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.
Belinda A. Beek and John R. Lewis (Southern District of Texas) for
their exemplary and sustained roles in prosecuting fraud in the energy
industry in Houston, Texas. At a time when the nation’s spotlight was
focused on fraudulent corporate practices and on fraudulent practices in
the energy industry in particular, AUSAs Lewis and Beek engaged in a
six-year effort to prosecute fraud in the energy trading industry. Their
efforts resulted in convictions of a dozen natural gas traders and resulted
in a significant improvement in the system by which natural gas is priced
throughout the nation.
17
DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE AS AN
ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY - CIVIL
Kendall J. Newman (Eastern District of California) for his exceptional
work and extraordinary results as the lead counsel in United States v.
Union Pacific Railroad Co., 565 F. Supp.2d 1136 (Feb. 13, 2008), an
affirmative action to recover damages from a wildfire which ignited due
to the negligence of a railroad employee. The fire burned for three weeks
before it could be suppressed, destroying over 21,000 acres of forest and
wildlife habitat in the Plumas and Lassen National Forests, including
pristine, old growth forests that Congress had designated for preservation
as wilderness areas. Mr. Newman led the case from start to finish and
ultimately recovered $102 million for the United States, of which the
entire amount has already been paid back. This is the highest recovery
ever by the United States for damages to National Forest land caused by
fire. The recovery will contribute directly to the environment and our
country’s natural resources, as $80 million is dedicated by statute to
restoration of the National Forests devastated by the fire.
Wyneva Johnson (District of Columbia) for her superb work on nine
employment discrimination jury trials within the last few years. Over the
last years, she has tried nine employment law jury trials. This feat is
particularly impressive because the District of Columbia is a very
difficult jurisdiction in which to try employment cases. Despite an
overwhelming caseload of other types of cases, AUSA Johnson has won
her last three jury trials. The client agencies are constantly praising her
work and work ethic.
Laurie J. Weinstein (District of Columbia) for her work in the $128
million settlement in United States ex rel Kapuscinski v Network
Appliance, by establishing, after extensive investigation, violations by the
defendant of the False Claims Act and the Truth in Negotiation Act. The
defendant entered into a contract with GSA for sale of hardware and
software related to archiving or otherwise backing up electronic data. In
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
the context of the contract, the defendant misrepresented its pricing and
failed to implement the price reduction clause of its contract, thereby
giving non-governmental customers substantially greater discounts than
those revealed to or made available to the government. The settlement is
reported to be the largest ever for the GSA’s Office of Inspector General.
Gerald M. Burke (Southern District of Illinois) for his work ensuring
that the sole source ambulance service for an entire county in rural Illinois
continued to operate despite the fact that the company and its principal
were indicted for a fraud scheme. If the company was forced to shut
down, the community would have been left without reliable ambulance
service. Using the Anti-Fraud Injunction Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1345, AUSA
Burke petitioned the Court for a Receiver to be appointed so that the fraud
would immediately cease, and then worked closely with the Receiver
through the myriad of issues that accompany an ambulance company
under indictment in an area that is bereft of medical services. After the
company and its principal pled guilty to the fraud charges, AUSA Burke
worked with the Receiver to shut down the company and transition the
ambulance service to a new provider so that the community never was
without its necessary ambulance service.
Anton P. Giedt (District of Massachusetts) for his record of
unparalleled success in representing the United States in both civil
affirmative and defensive cases. Since becoming an AUSA in 2002, he
has amassed an unparalleled record of success in representing the
interests of the United States in motion practice and at trial. He is both a
masterful trial lawyer and negotiator whose remarkable advocacy skills,
intellectual analysis, common sense, and strong power of persuasion
consistently lead to favorable outcomes for the United States. He is
undaunted by complicated bureaucracies, challenging fact patterns, and
warring factions – in all of these situations, AUSAGiedt calmly navigates
the right course for his client. In particular, he has distinguished himself
by performing exceptionally and simultaneously both affirmative and
defensive work. He has handled affirmative fraud, Administrative
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
Procedures Act, tort, medical malpractice, Bivens, immigration, and
forfeiture cases all in a superlative fashion and all at the same time.
AUSA Giedt is the go-to person in the Civil Division for difficult,
sensitive and complicated cases.
Elizabeth Smoot Tonkin (Eastern District of Tennessee) for her
outstanding work in civil prosecutions of health care and procurement
fraud. Since 2005, she has negotiated multiple settlements of health care
and procurement fraud claims, recovering more than $50 million. She led
a team that achieved a $40 million settlement, the largest single-hospital
Stark Anti-Kickback Statute settlement at the time. She recovered $1.7
million in settling claims related to six years of overpayments by the
government and private sources to a cardiology group. She obtained a
$6.2 million settlement from a government contractor who made
fraudulent claims for contractor bonuses and who falsified safety records.
Lastly, she successfully settled a claim for $1.3 million arising out of
more than three years of pharmaceutical over billing by a national nursing
home pharmaceutical provider.
Harold E. Brown and R. Barry Robinson (Western District of Texas)
for providing an outstanding defense in Barraza et al. v. United States, an
FTCA/wrongful death case involving defending the actions of several
Custom and Border Protection officers in their attempted arrest and
shooting death of an alien. Several witnesses testified the alien was shot
as he was backing away. The officers testified that the alien was shot as
he charged forward with a raised steel pipe. Discovery was contentious
and involved over two dozen depositions, taken across the country.
Numerous complicated legal issues regarding applicable standards of
conduct, damages and conflicts of law (including disputes regarding
Mexican law on recoverable damages) were briefed. Following trial, the
Court issued a lengthy decision in favor of the government, holding that
the officers’ actions were reasonable and circumstances justified use of
deadly force.
20
DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE AS AN
ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY - APPELLATE
Joan G. Ruffennach (District of Arizona) for her successful defense
and preservation on appeal of a conviction arising out of a complex
scheme to profit from stolen helicopter parts. The task was daunting
because the record of the three-month trial spanned thousands of pages,
defendants’ raised non-frivolous issues of constitutional significance, and
the original trial lawyer had left the office by the time of the appeal. In
2001, the defendants were first indicted for interstate transportation of
stolen property. The type of property – stolen helicopter parts – and the
sophistication of the scheme and the victim – Boeing Aircraft – made for
an unusual case from the outset. Nearly eight years later, in May 2009,
the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld all convictions in the case, and
paid an unusual tribute to the quality of AUSA Ruffennach’s appellate
advocacy in the case, by adopting both the analysis and language of her
oral argument and briefing.
J. Douglas Wilson (Northern District of California) for his
contributions to the Department’s appellate work over the last 20 years.
During his tenure, Mr. Wilson argued over 95 appeals, in every circuit in
the country, and in 2008 prepared the briefs and argued two of the
Department’s most significant appeals, United States v. Jeffrey Skilling
and United States v. Comprehensive Drug Testing, Inc., et al. (CDT). The
Fifth Circuit’s affirmance of Skillings’ convictions stands as a shining
accomplishment for the Department’s efforts in combating the fallout
from the energy crisis and the related fraud that was perpetrated on the
investing public. The CDT litigation, which culminated in an en banc
argument in the Ninth Circuit in December 2008, will settle any dispute
in the Ninth Circuit over the government’s search protocol when it seeks
to seize and search computers and related electronic storage medium.
James C. Murphy (District of Colorado) for his outstanding work
during the appellate phase in the criminal litigation that arose out of the
failure of BestBank of Boulder, Colorado. Defendants Baetz and Gallant
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
appealed their convictions and sentences, defendants Boyd and Grace
appealed only their sentences, and the government cross-appealed all of
the sentences. The defendants challenged the sufficiency of the evidence
with respect to the bank fraud, aiding and abetting the filing of false call
reports, wire fraud, and participating in a continuing financial crimes
enterprise. With the assistance of AUSAs Haried and Carey (the trial
attorneys), AUSA Murphy briefed the cases, and at a special half-day
session argued the cases with Mr. Haried before the Tenth Circuit. On
August 20, 2008, in a 58-page opinion, the Court of Appeals upheld all of
the convictions except for two wire fraud counts.
Elizabeth H. Danello (District of Columbia) for her longstanding work
in the Appellate Division since 1990. During this time she served as a
Senior Assistant, Senior Litigation Counsel, and interim Deputy Chief.
She handled many of the Office’s most important and challenging
appellate cases, including en banc cases and other matters of unusual
complexity and significance. Ms. Danello is also an extremely talented
oral advocate. She prepares meticulously and is articulate and convincing
in court. She repeatedly garners praise from the judges before whom she
appears. Because of her remarkable ability, dedication, and efficiency,
Ms. Danello has made extraordinary contributions to the USAO.
Stephan J. Baczynski (Western District of New York) for his
outstanding sustained performance of duties in the Appellate Division.
An AUSA for 27 years, Mr. Baczynski effectively utilizes his singular
writing and oral advocacy skills to obtain appellate results consistently
favorable to the United States. Through his superior written work
product, thorough preparation, and capable presentations at oral
argument, Mr. Baczynski has gained the respect and the esteem of judges
of the United States District Court, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals
and his colleagues. He is able to maintain his exceptional standards even,
and especially, when a case presents a particularly complicated or
convoluted factual scenario. Mr. Baczynski”s sustained outstanding
performance of his duties is admirable.
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
Paige Auer Winck (Eastern District of Tennessee) for outstanding
appellate work. For over 23 years, AUSA Winck has provided a keen
eye, intellect, and judgment to improving the written and appellate work
of the USAO. Uncompromising in her standards, she has worked
thousands of hours of uncompensated overtime during her career to
deliver a first-rate written product to the federal courts. In addition to the
quality of her work, the volume that she is able to effectively handle is
also remarkable. During her career, she has written or reviewed
thousands of pleadings filed on behalf of the United States. AUSAWinck
is able to quickly discern the factual and legal issues, identify relevant
case law, and apply sound logic and reasoning to the position of the
United States. Over the years, she has also taught dozens of AUSAs how
to write more clearly and communicate their thoughts more convincingly.
23
DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE BY A LITIGATIVE TEAM
Valerie Hsieh Chu, Jason A. Forge, Phillip L.B. Halpern, Martha A.
Hernandez (Southern District of California); Seth Hagaman and
William B. Mitchell (Central Intelligence Agency); Jerry R. Crosby
and Samuel S. Medigovich (Defense Criminal Investigative Service);
Jamie Harrison and Eric Helfand (Internal Revenue Service,
Criminal Investigation Division); and Erin C. Phan and Lamont C.
Siller (Federal Bureau of Investigation) for their work investigating
and successfully prosecuting in the last year two historic public
corruption cases. The case of United States v. Brent Wilkes charged a San
Diego-based defense contractor with orchestrating one of the largest
corruption schemes in the history of the U.S. Congress of over $2 million
in bribes in exchange for tens of millions in government contracts. The
case of United States v. Kyle Foggo charged a years-long corruption
scheme perpetrated by the Executive Director of the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA), the highest ranking member ever indicted. Together,
these prosecutions involved over 140 grand jury witnesses, over 700
grand jury subpoenas, search warrants in four judicial districts on both
coasts, including the first-ever search of a CIA Executive Office, and
multi-district complex litigation. The Wilkes case, which centered on the
corruption of Congressman Randall Cunningham, culminated with a
month-long trial, with the team securing guilty verdicts on all counts of
conspiracy, honest services wire fraud, bribery, and money laundering.
He was then sentenced to 144 months imprisonment. The Foggo case
uncovered corrupt influences over an array of contracts ranging from a
$1,000 pallet of water to over $130 million for air support operations.
The case was transferred to the Eastern District of Virginia, where the
same trial team obtained a Superseding Indictment broadening the scope
of Foggo’s scheme. Months of successful complex litigation culminated
with Foggo’s guilty plea to the honest services fraud scheme. Foggo was
sentenced to 37 months imprisonment which is the first-ever
imprisonment of an executive-level official of the CIA.
24
DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
William M. Brown, Jr. and Anthony E. Kaplan (District of
Connecticut); Lana N. Pettus and Richard A. Udell (Environmental
and Natural Resources Division); and Luke M. Reid (Defense
Institute of International Studies) for their successful pursuit and
prosecution of Ionia Management related to the extensive discharge of
oil-contaminated waste by the tanker M/T Kriton and in the face of
concerted efforts to obstruct justice. Through the sustained efforts of this
litigative team, the government was able to conduct and complete a
complicated and exceedingly difficult environmental investigation, return
a lengthy indictment against Ionia Management, and convict Ionia and
two officers of the oil tanker M/T Kriton after a hotly-contested jury trial
of violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, and other charges
– all within a 150-day period. Not only was a recalcitrant environmental
offender brought to justice and placed under stringent probationary
conditions, but favorable law was created as a result of this case which
will aid the government in future environmental and obstruction
investigations and prosecutions.
Aleyda Borges-Tognozzi, Juliet Falcon, Wilfredo Fernandez, and
Alison W. Lehr (Southern District of Florida); Steven D. Grimberg
(Tax Division); and Isabel C. Fleitas-Gruba, Joseph Lozowicki,
Alfonso J. Herrera, William Rondon, and Donnell Young (Internal
Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division) for the
investigation, prosecution, and conviction of the owner and principals of
a check cashing store that laundered more than $132 million and put an
end to one of the most prolific money laundering operations in South
Florida’s history. From August 2005 to January 2008, law enforcement
agents unraveled a scheme where Florida construction companies and
subcontractors cashed checks in anonymity, in exchange for a
commission based on the face value of the check. The defendants, the
owners and principals of La Bamba Check Cashing, recruited customers,
mostly local construction companies and subcontractors, who avoided
paying Social Security and other taxes by cashing checks at La Bamba
through shell companies that the defendants owned or controlled. On
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
behalf of their customers, the defendants filed false Currency Transaction
Reports and for this service, La Bamba, its owner, and others earned
millions of dollars in fees. The three and a half month trial resulted in
convictions the corporate defendant, La Bamba and its owner who was
sentenced to 18 years in prison. Forfeiture proceeding resulted in an $11
million settlement.
Pamela Bearg, PJ Foster, Syrena C. Hargrove, and Ardis Robinson
(District of Idaho) for their work on the Duncan capital trial team. These
individuals are recognized for their outstanding teamwork, effective
performance and dedication to justice in the prosecution and capital
sentence of Joseph Edward Duncan, III. This successful team effort
resulted in bringing justice to a northern Idaho family and community
after horrific child sexual torture murders that terrified Coeur d’Alene,
Idaho and the northwestern United States in the spring and summer of
2005. The team of attorneys and support staff faced numerous legal and
logistical challenges. Their professionalism, focus, teamwork and
common purpose provided exceptional service to the United States.
Brenda S. Nietert and Stephanie M. Rose (Northern District of Iowa)
and Sarah C. Boblenz (Drug Enforcement Administration) for the
investigation and prosecution of the largest and most successful Internet
pharmacy case in Department of Justice history. Demonstrating
remarkable ingenuity, skill, and tenacity, these three permanently “logged
off” two Internet pharmacies responsible for the illegal distribution of
millions of dosage units of controlled substances throughout the country.
Their efforts led to 29 convictions and the forfeiture of more than $6.9
million. While managing this wide-ranging investigation and
prosecution, AUSA Rose and Investigator Boblenz became the
Department’s “go-to” team with respect to all aspects of investigating and
prosecuting Internet pharmacy cases.
26
DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
Kimberly C. Cooper, Don Feith, Sheila Jenkins-Hamilton, Caryn
Shedd, Sharon Reeve Taub, and Gretchen Leah Witt (District of New
Hampshire) and Jean B. Weld, (Criminal Division) for their
extraordinary cooperative effort in the criminal prosecution and asset
forfeiture litigation, using the newly-enacted provisions of the USA
PATRIOT Act. Their extraordinary teamwork produced significant
success in the two-pronged criminal prosecution, U.S. v. Taillon and civil
asset forfeiture litigation, U.S. v. Funds on Deposit, et al., of a large
international organized racketeering enterprise operating out of Montreal,
Canada. The criminal enterprise operated a telemarketing lottery scheme
that targeted elderly American citizens often of significant financial
means. Operating from 2001 through April 2002, the enterprise collected
more than $7 million dollars from 118 victims. The exceptional
teamwork resulted in the criminal prosecution of 12 defendants and the
successful forfeiture of more than $3.8 million dollars, which was used to
pay restitution to the elderly victims. This joint effort showed how
criminal and civil resources can be used creatively to combat
international organized crime and to restore laundered proceeds to
victims despite complex efforts to place assets beyond the reach of law
enforcement.
Cheryl Kinmartin, Patricia Manning, Margaret M. McFarland,
Theresa Tetlow, and Robert G. Trusiak (Western District of New
York) for their demonstrated excellence in the civil prosecution of health
care fraud resulting in a $75 million False Claims Act, Common Law and
administrative resolution against Kyphon, Inc., a/k/a Medtronic Spine,
LLC (“Kyphon”) for causing the submission of false claims to Medicare
by informing certain hospitals and physicians that the federal government
required an inpatient stay for the kyphoplasty procedure in order to
increase the reimbursement received. The robust employment of the full
range of investigative techniques, including scores of provider interviews
in several states, the timely review of thousands of e-mails and
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
nationwide billing data analysis permitted the government to successfully
demonstrate causation by Kyphon. The United States secured this
successful result due to the aggressive, fair and indefatigable
investigative efforts of Ms. Tetlow, Ms. McFarland, and Ms. Manning,
coupled with the outstanding prosecutive abilities of Mr. Trusiak.
J. Frank Bradsher, Eric Evenson, Linda H. Hayes, and Leslie S. Hiatt
(Eastern District of North Carolina); Thomas Beers (Internal
Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division); Paul Rodriguez
(United States Secret Service); and Mark Brewington (North
Carolina State Bureau of Investigation) for their outstanding work in
the five-year investigation and resulting high-profile prosecution of
corruption and racketeering activities within the Robeson County
Sheriff’s Office, including the former Sheriff, several of his closest
commanding officers, and his entire Drug Unit. The defendants were
involved in a spectrum of illegal activities including theft of federal
funds, misappropriation of county funds, arson, civil rights violations,
theft of seized drug money, theft of narcotics, distribution of controlled
substances, racial profiling, money laundering, kidnaping, home
invasion, satellite piracy, illegal wiretapping, perjury, bribery, and
extortion. The team did a superior job of writing a detailed RICO
indictment, developing law enforcement and civilian witnesses, handling
complex pre-trial litigation, and negotiating plea agreements with all 22
law enforcement officers charged. The combined sentences of all
defendants totaled more than 100 years imprisonment, with sentences
ranging from three months to 34.5 years.
Jose Luis Acosta (Western District of Texas); Enrique Corral and
Samantha Mikeska (Federal Bureau of Investigation); Andres
Sanchez (El Paso Police Department) for their outstanding team work
in convicting 22 members of the Barrio Azteca gang in El Paso, Texas.
The team secured a total of 12 indictments against 32 defendants (ten of
whom remain fugitives) including charges against 16 gang member and
leaders for racketeering violations, including murder and violence in aid
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
of racketeering, money laundering and drug trafficking. Six of the gang’s
senior leaders were convicted following a four week trial, five were
sentenced to life imprisonment, the sixth to 384 months. The trial was
complicated by numerous threats against witnesses, many of whom had
to be moved to other locales, and one cooperator was murdered. The
volume of evidence, including many coded recorded conversations and
letters between gang members, and the fearfulness of witnesses required
outstanding team work during the investigation and trial of this complex
case against extremely violent offenders.
Erik R. Barnett, Daniel J. Grooms, Lauren A. Wetzler, and Heather
J. Lee (Eastern District of Virginia); Bryan D. Wilhite (Federal
Bureau of Investigation); and Steven L. Carroll, Daniel L. Horton,
and Thomas L. Hulse (Fairfax County Police Department) for their
outstanding work convicting 16 defendants in “Operation Smackdown”
targeting a suburban Virginia heroin ring. This heroin ring was
responsible for four heroin overdose deaths and at least a dozen non-fatal
overdoses, all within the Centreville community and involving young
people between 16 and 22 years of age. The team did an exceptional job
identifying the sources of heroin within this community and dismantling
the network of dealers through prosecution, all within an extremely short
period of time, to prevent further overdoses and deaths. This prosecution
received significant public attention as 15 defendants pleaded guilty and
the one remaining defendant was convicted at trial, resulting in four
defendants receiving mandatory 20-year sentences for distribution
resulting in death.
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE IN A
LITIGATIVE SUPPORT ROLE
Tammy Lou Zelina (District of Arizona) for her work as the sole
paralegal in the Immigration Unit of the Tucson branch office for the last
seven years. She has overseen the preparation of more than 8,000
indictments and plea packages. Her strong commitment to the USAO
allows for a large number of felony immigration offenses to be
prosecuted in the most efficient manner. For each case, she reviews the
reports and prepares a draft of the indictment. She also analyzes the
defendant’s prior convictions to determine the appropriate plea offer to
make and prepares the draft plea agreement. Her preparation of these
documents is always error free, despite the high volume of work.
Erin Zacuto (Central District of California) for the significant role she
played in the successful investigation and prosecution of the Drew
Street/Avenues Gang, the Mongols Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, and the
Florencia-13 Gang. Her dedication and commitment contributed to the
conviction of literally hundreds of very violent and dangerous members
of these gangs, the seizures of substantial assets and quantities of
narcotics, and of primary significance, the restoration of a meaningful
quality of life to the neighborhoods that were victimized by these gang
members. In this effort, Ms. Zacuto devoted very long hours, including
weekends, and was constantly on-call. She managed exhibits, witnesses,
and tens of thousands of pages of discovery. In the Drew Street case, she
was the sole paralegal assigned to the case and worked tirelessly to
review and prepare materials for the indictment and arraignment of more
that 70 defendants. She reviewed and indexed more that 10,000 pages of
discovery, as well as wiretap recordings, and monitored jail
conversations. At every turn, Zacuto’s contributions were acknowledged
and appreciated by her colleagues, the court, and defense counsel.
Christopher Francis and Mary Dano Kennedy (Western District of
Kentucky) for their invaluable support to the litigation team in the
criminal prosecution of the first soldier charged and convicted under the
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December 4, 2021
Military Territorial Jurisdiction Act for war crimes committed during the
Iraq War. Mr. Francis overcame considerable logistical obstacles to
facilitate travel to and from Baghdad of ten Iraqi witnesses for trial,
including two minor boys orphaned as a result of the murders charged in
the case. The witnesses, most of whom spoke no English, required daily
attention, including a couple of significant medical emergencies. Ms.
Kennedy provided primary paralegal support in preparation for the trial.
She organized and scanned thousands of pages of trial transcript,
documents, photographs, email messages, and other evidence and put it
in a digital format which was easily retrievable at trial. This exceptional
organization was essential to the efficient presentation of evidence at trial,
and to the successful conviction of the defendant.
David G. Perkins (Western District of Kentucky) for his outstanding
work on the investigation of Gohmann Asphalt and Construction, Inc.
(Gohmann). Mr. Perkins’ investigation of this case helped to bring about
a settlement wherein Gohmann agreed to pay $8.2 million to settle federal
and state claims that Gohmann fraudulently swapped samples of asphalt
between 1997 and 2006 to inflate the amount of monies paid on road
projects by the Federal Highway Administration, the Commonwealth of
Kentucky, and State of Indiana. Gohmann, one of the region’s largest
highway paving companies, agreed to provide warranties to correct
deficiencies in work on highways in Kentucky and Indiana.
Marcia Thomas Bayne, Elizabeth Ann Mitchell, and Lisa C. Parker
(Eastern District of Pennsylvania) for their outstanding work in the area
of violent crime and sexual exploitation. During the past year they
actively supported a large group of children (infants to young teens) who
were filmed while the defendant sexually exploited them in the home of
their “nanny” and mother. These assaults continued for years with the
resultant physical and psychological trauma. The recipients supported
the victims through the pretrial and trial proceedings where a number of
them had to testify. The children were reluctant witnesses who developed
a rapport with the Victim Witness Staff, which greatly assisted in their
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December 4, 2021
willingness to proceed as witnesses in the trial. The court authorized
monthly visits by the children of the “nanny” defendant in prison, with
the understanding that Victim Witness Staff would accompany the
children on all visits, and there would be no discussion of the pending
trial. During the past year this group was also instrumental in keeping
witnesses safe from dangerous drug organizations and gangs which have
in the past used arson to kill, and one organization that had brazenly
gunned down a potential federal witness and her guest.
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE IN ADMINISTRATION
Michael J. Laskowski (Northern District of Georgia) for his creative
and innovative work in the Information Technology community that has
greatly benefitted the District, as well as the entire USAO community. In
March 2009, he migrated the District’s intranet onto the SharePoint
platform and created USATube, a true web 2.0 video blog site, designed
to encourage collaboration and provide clear, simple, and effective
training for employees on issues related to information and litigation
technology. Mr. Laskowski spent many long days and nights, including
considerable off-duty time, to develop this technology. In recognition of
his skills and innovative ideas, he was detailed for three weeks in May
2009 to EOUSA’s Web and SharePoint Teams to assist with several web
projects and to initiate the launch of USATube nationwide. Mr.
Laskowski”s tireless work and enthusiasm with which he pursues and
solves technological challenges is exemplary.
Robert J. Sperry (Eastern District of Wisconsin) for his outstanding
leadership and performance as the District’s Administrative Officer (AO).
He made the difficult transition from Information Technology Manager to
AO in a highly professional and competent manner and immediately
became a critical member of the senior management team. Within his
first year as AO, he had to perform not only the duties of the AO, but also
of the Information Technology Manager and the Budget Officer. Despite
his lack of experience in personnel and budgetary issues, he handled the
responsibilities with great professionalism and poise. His contributions
during this time allowed the USAO to make informed and effective hiring
and budget decisions. His unparalleled leadership has greatly improved
the Administrative Division’s morale and its ability to effectively support
the litigative mission of the office.
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE BY AN
ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM
Cathy A. McGarry, Patricia J. Mellody Christine M. Osborne, Linda
L. Smith, and Patricia A. Wiscount (Middle District of Pennsylvania)
for its support to the mission of the USAO during periods of unparalleled
change and transition. As a result of the consummate teamwork of these
administrative division specialists, this office has attained extraordinary
levels of litigation success, while engaging in comprehensive renovations
and improvements of all three district offices. The team has also
skillfully guided the district’s budget during times of fiscal constraint,
enabling the district to perform its litigation mission without interruption,
while increasing staffing by 20% in a two year span, supporting an active
office internal awards program, and providing capital improvements in
furniture and equipment for staff totaling approximately $350,000.
Edward F. Gallagher, III, Kesha T. Handy, Joseph C. Magliolo,
Ruben R. Perez, and Caren A.W. Thomas (Southern District of
Texas) for their extraordinary effort in creating and directing the Human
Trafficking Rescue Alliance. Since 2005, this team has played a leading
role in developing national curricula and providing training for over 800
members of the federal, state and local law enforcement community and
non-governmental organizations, as well as thousands of others at
national and international forums, in how to recognize, investigate and
prosecute human trafficking crimes. The Human Trafficking Rescue
Alliance is a paradigm of excellence for the nation: its efforts have
resulted in the rescue of 133 victims of human trafficking and the
convictions of 16 defendants for trafficking-related offenses, including
the largest ever trafficking prosecution in the continental United States.
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021
SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE IN INDIAN COUNTRY
Randolph J. Seiler (District of South Dakota) for his work in Indian
county over the course of his 14 years as an AUSA. He has spent
countless hours on Indian reservations, forging relationships, earning
respect, and serving as a tribal liaison. As a result, AUSA Seiler is a
known and trusted federal prosecutor with a reputation for hard work and
fairness. He has tried over 75 jury trials – most involving violent offenses
committed in Indian country – and handled hundreds of other Indian
country prosecutions. His unflagging support of victims, unceasing
energy, and courtroom success have also made him a nationally
recognized expert on virtually every issue associated with the prosecution
of violent crime in Indian country. By any measure, his efforts can only
be described as “exceptional contributions” to the Department’s work in
Indian country.
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DIRECTOR’S AWARDS
December 4, 2021

We’ve posted below the names of the honorees from Friday’s Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys Director’s Awards Ceremony.

The Justice Department’s top brass — including EOUSA Director H. Marshall Jarrett, Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General David Ogden — and dozens of U.S. Attorneys, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, agents and support staff were on hand.

The annual event recognizes the achievements of EOUSA employees and department lawyers, agents and staff in the field.

The ceremony marked Holder’s first public appearance with Ogden since the Deputy Attorney General announced he was stepping aside on Thursday morning. Ogden, who is scheduled to leave the department February, said he would take with him a renewed sense of pride in the work of 94 U.S. Attorneys offices.

“Although the Department of Justice is headquartered in this building,” Ogden said, “its heart and soul are in the field.”

The also coincided with the first meeting of the newly composed Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys. In October, Holder appointed nine new members to committee, which advises the Attorney General on policy and represents the views of the U.S. Attorneys.

Compliments of DOJ:

EXECUTIVE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

  • James B. Farmer (District of Massachusetts) for his dedicated professional service to the Department of Justice for over 25 years. In the late 1980s, he directed the most massive federal public corruption investigation into the Boston Police Department. He went on to become the Chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force where he oversaw the landmark cases against Asian organized crime figures and other international criminals. More recently, he served on the sensitive criminal investigation of the CIA’s destruction of recordings of interrogations of certain high value terrorism detainees. He is the longest tenured member of the Criminal Chiefs Working Group, having served since 1998 and as its founding Chair for three years. He presented numerous courses at the National Advocacy Center. He also served as U.S. Attorney from June to September 2001. Mr. Farmer has brought analytic rigor, outstanding writing skills, excellent judgement, deep institutional knowledge, and personal and professional credibility to each of his many supervisory roles. He consistently sets a strong personal example for other Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs), and frequently goes the extra mile as a dedicated professional.
  • James W. Hunter (Western District of Michigan) for his 25 years of service to the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) and for his personal initiative, innovation, leadership and creativity in carrying out his duties as Administrative Officer. Mr. Hunter’s dedication has long been instrumental in leading the office, including branch offices, through build-out and renovations of office space, acquiring state-of-the-art technology to better enable his staff to meet the needs of the 21st century, developing a recognized Special Emphasis Committee which has assisted the USAO in attracting a highly motivated and diverse staff, and tirelessly serving the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) and other USAOs in various capacities. Mr. Hunter was a member of the Administrative Officer Working Group from 2000-2002; he serves as an Administrative Team Leader and evaluator for the Evaluation and Review Program; he works as a mentor to newer, less experienced Administrative Officers, and has been a panel member for numerous ad hoc working groups for EOUSA. Throughout his career, he has been a leader in establishing a service-oriented culture in administrative divisions throughout the USAO community. Mr. Hunter’s service and hard work are unique among his peers.
  • Kathleen M. Mehltretter (Western District of New York) for her unparalleled commitment to pubic service, unsurpassed knowledge of the rule of law, and uncompromising integrity. Mrs. Mehltretter’s tenure with the Department of Justice has spanned nearly thirty years. During the course of that tenure, she has been a leader and active participant both within and outside of her district in litigation, policy and special projects. She has been the long time First AUSA for the Western District of New York, also serving at various times as the Interim U.S. Attorney. She has also been active over the years in the Criminal Chiefs Working Group, the Evaluation and Review Program, National prosecutions, developing task forces to tackle new priority prosecution areas, attorney training both at the NAC and in her home district, and ethics and professional responsibility oversight. She has been a true friend and leader for EOUSA, participating in scores of ad-hoc and permanent EOUSA and Department committees over the years. She is not only respected but renowned for her skills and abilities.

SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE IN A MANAGERIAL OR SUPERVISORY ROLE

  • Gentry Shelnutt (Northern District of Georgia) for his service as Criminal Chief for over a decade. He is an outstanding manager who is committed to doing the right thing in every case, as well as empowering the criminal AUSAs to do their jobs without constant scrutiny. The Department has numerous awards for AUSAs who successfully prosecute high-profile cases. Mr. Shelnutt’s contributions to his district and colleagues, while more understated, are no less profound. He has been described as the “glue” that holds together a growing Criminal Division, and as a “master conflict-resolver” who often diffuses workplace disputes by offering a productive and fair resolution . He is often consulted on the most difficult strategic, tactical, and ethical decisions in all types of cases. The detailed weekly Criminal Division reports that Mr. Shelnutt compiles and distributes were recently recognized as a “best practice” by the Evaluation and Review program. Under Mr. Shelnutt’s leadership, the Criminal Division is at the forefront of prosecuting major Mexican drug cartels and combating the national crises pertaining to mortgage fraud. He is a strong and steady supervisor who leads by example.
  • Richard L. Murphy (Northern District of Iowa) for his dedicated and exemplary work as Criminal Chief and First AUSA. While serving as Criminal Chief, he was an active member of the Criminal Chiefs Working Group, serving as Chairperson during his last two years as a member. Mr. Murphy faced many challenges after being named First AUSA, while still serving as Criminal Chief. In early 2007, the district lost an usually large number of long-serving and key management personnel, including the U.S. Attorney, First AUSA, Administrative Officer and Budget Officer, among others. During this period of transition, Mr. Murphy absorbed additional duties and provided excellent counsel, not only in meeting the short-term management needs of the office and filling vacancies, but also in structuring a new management team to meet the District’s long-term needs. Mr. Murphy’s leadership was instrumental in responding effectively to a massive flood in June 2008 that closed the USAO’s main office for five months. In addition, Mr. Murphy spearheaded monumental coordination efforts with numerous federal agencies in preparation for the office’s execution of a massive criminal worksite enforcement operation. He is an exemplar of hard work, integrity, and dedication.
  • Robert J. Higdon Jr. (Eastern District of North Carolina) for his superb supervisory skills as Criminal Chief. Since he joined the office in 2002, it has experienced substantial growth and change. During his tenure, he reorganized the Criminal Division to maximize the use of available resources. He encourages AUSAs to perform diverse duties and was instrumental in developing a policy to allow compressed work schedules for both support and attorney staff. He routinely works with the office’s Administrative Division to strengthen efforts to successfully hire, train, and retain a skilled and diverse workforce. Mr. Higdon also provides effective leadership to the prosecution of numerous high-profile cases, including the prosecution of a CIA contractor who assaulted and killed an Afghani national who was being held in a United States prison facility in Afghanistan and 22 corrupt law enforcement officers for long term racketeering activities. As a result of his leadership and resource allocations, the district has been able to dramatically increase its firearms prosecutions. A recent noteworthy initiative of his involves partnering with Kosovo to provide training and support to improve the quality and quantity of investigations and the criminal conviction rate. He has demonstrated unwavering dedication to his office and the Department of Justice while providing strong and professional leadership.

APPRECIATION AWARD FOR CONTRIBUTIONS THAT ENHANCE THE MISSIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS AND THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS’ OFFICES

  • Kenneth Dintzer (Federal Courts Section, Civil Division) for his consistent support of the mission of EOUSA and USAOs for the last ten years. He is dedicated to teaching both substantive law and practice skills for the Office of Legal Education (OLE) and he does so in an engaging manner which enables students to integrate and successfully apply the techniques learned in both pretrial and courtroom practice. His commitment to nurturing the students is evident both in the exemplary manner that he fulfilled his assigned faculty duties, as well as his willingness to mentor students both before and after the formal classroom sessions. During the past year, Mr. Dinzter’s contributions were particularly important. Given the large number of newly hired AUSA and Department attorneys, it was critical that the NAC adapt many of its Civil intensive practicum-based courses, which were built on a 40-student model, to accommodate 60-80 students per session. Mr. Dinzter was instrumental in developing the new Pretrial Practice course format which is able to accommodate up to 100 students per session, while preserving important hands-on learning segments. Mr. Dinzter exemplifies excellence in advocacy as a trial attorney and in his commitment to the educational development of his fellow Department attorneys.
  • Paul Suddes (Executive Office for United States Attorneys) for his service and commitment to EOUSA during a critical period of time. In September 2007, Mr. Suddes was asked by the former EOUSA Director to accept a short detail to Washington, DC to serve as Acting Deputy Director for Administration in EOUSA. The short detail turned into a two-year stay. In this capacity, Mr. Suddes supervised the functions of EOUSA’s administrative staffs, as well as the management of the Chief Operating, Financial, and Information Offices. Also during his tenure, due to staff vacancies and a reorganization, he served as the Acting Chief Information Officer, the Acting Administrative Officer and the Acting Chief Operating Officer. Upon his arrival, Mr. Suddes promptly rolled up his sleeves and began to tackle his new duties and responsibilities. He immersed himself in the budget process, dove into the massive technology projects which were underway (CDCS, LCMS), and took great pride in learning all he could about the issues/concerns in security, personnel, facilities and all of the other administrative areas under his supervision. During his tenure, he served as counselor and advisor on all administrative matters for each of EOUSA’s Assistant Directors. Mr. Suddes’s tremendous work ethic, leadership qualities, commitment to excellence and service to the field, and technical expertise made him an essential component of EOUSA’s senior management team. His contributions and impact on EOUSA has been immeasurable.
  • Patrick S. Vincent (Executive Office for United States Attorneys) for taking a leading role in educating USAOs to manage their FLUs more productively. He recently oversaw wholesale revisions to the Evaluation and Review Program’s financial litigation evaluation materials and took a leading role in formulating the Financial Litiagation Unit (FLU) Management Standards and developing the FLU Compliance Checklist, which are the structure of the financial litagation evaluation. Performing these tasks often involved resolving inconsistencies with EOUSA and USAO components. In addition, Mr. Vincent has made numerous followup trips to USAOs to assist them in resolving negative assessments and to personally mentor and train FLU AUSAs and paralegals. He developed training programs at the National Advocacy Center on restitution, as well as new evaluator training. On a daily basis, Mr. Vincent’s actions enhance the missions of EOUSA and USAOs nationwide.
  • Dexter A. Lee (Southern District of Florida) for consistently supporting the National Advocacy Center over the last ten years through his dedicated teaching at substantive law and trial skills courses. Since June 1998, Mr. Lee has taught at 44 different courses at the NAC, including Criminal and Civil Immigration, Criminal Federal Practice, Grand Jury, Working with Cooperators and Confidential Informants, Title III, Money Laundering, Intermediate Criminal Trial Skills, and Ethics’ Officers Conferences. Mr. Lee taught at seven courses in FY08 and six courses in FY09 to date. Mr. Lee’s Legal Ethics and Brady/Giglio Issues presentations are critical to new AUSA training and consistently garner the highest ratings of the course. Mr. Lee’s Brady/Giglio presentation outlining an AUSA’s discovery obligations is considered so effective and timely that OLE has added a video tape of this presentation to its Video On Demand library for viewing by all Department attorneys. Mr. Lee’s service and commitment to advocacy is outstanding.
  • Paul A. Murphy (District of Virgin Islands) for his hard work, perseverance, and dedication during his tenure as acting United States Attorney. During his tenure, Mr. Murphy was unwavering in his determination to address the numerous issues faced by the USAO during a difficult period in which the Virgin Islands witnessed a staggering rise in crime and an unprecedented murder rate. To help address this problem, he took the lead in coordinating a federal law enforcement response to the request by the Virgin Islands Governor, Attorney General and Police Commissioner to assist them with their crime problems in a significant way. In doing so, he organized and coordinated federal resources, established sensitive alliances with local officials and reached out to the public in meaningful ways. He also led by example, tackling difficult cases and securing convictions. In addition to this, he provided direct and insightful oversight to every division of the USAO. Mr. Murphy did an outstanding job as acting United States Attorney and courageously faced each challenge that confronted the office.

SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE AS A SPECIAL ASSISTANT  UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

  • Christine M. Thoreson and Erin E. White (Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska) for their work combating recent problems in gang violence occurring in Anchorage. Both Ms. Thoreson and Ms. White work closely with the Safe Streets Task Force made up of law enforcement from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Anchorage Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In the past year and a half, Special AUSAs Thoreson and White have indicted and convicted approximately 70 suspected gang members, many of whom were targeted after committing acts of violence within Anchorage, such as drive-by shootings and assaults. These individuals have been sentenced collectively to over 375 years in prison. As a result of their work and the unique partnership between the Municipality of Anchorage and the Department of Justice, the number of incidents of gang related violence has significantly decreased and the City of Anchorage has become a safer place to live and work.
  • Richard E. Reed (Antitrust Division) for his remarkably good work in the complex investigation and successful prosecution of a massive $112 million mortgage fraud scheme that resulted in the conviction of 27 defendants, including the scheme’s mastermind, Phillip E. Hill. The Hill case was the largest single mortgage fraud case in metro Atlanta history and among the largest mortgage fraud cases in the nation. Those convicted included Hill, his lieutenants, closing attorneys, appraisers, loan officers, and straw purchasers. Special AUSA Reed working with AUSA Barbara Nelan of the Northern District of Georgia USAO collected, analyzed and organized hundreds of thousands of pages of documents relating to over 50 homes and 250 condos involved in the fraud scheme, then used computer technology to efficiently and effectively present 2,400 exhibits through 90 witnesses during an eightweek trial. Their work on this investigation and prosecution of a complex case advancing one of the Department’s highest priorities exemplifies dedication, diligence, and quality performance in the best tradition of the Department.
  • Karen E. Kelly (Tax Division) for her extraordinary dedication and skill in investigating and prosecuting the largest personal income tax evasion case brought in the United States. In United States v. Anderson, Walter Anderson masterminded an elaborate scheme involving several foreign corporations to conceal approximately $450 million in earnings from business ventures and to evade payment of more than $200 million in federal income taxes and District of Columbia use taxes. Anderson pleaded guilty to two counts of federal tax evasion and one count of defrauding the District of Columbia and was sentenced to nine years of imprisonment and ordered to pay restitution. Because of Ms. Kelly’s and AUSA Susan Menzer’s exemplary work and unshakeable determination in this difficult and complex case, justice triumphed and a strong message was sent that federal prosecutors will work tirelessly to unravel even the most complicated tax evasion schemes.

SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE AS AN ASSISTANCE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY - CRIMINAL

  • David L. Gappa (Eastern District of California) for his work since 2004 prosecuting offenses involving child sexual exploitation. During this time he obtained more than 120 indictments, successfully tried more than seven cases, and handled numerous appeals. Each case resulted in a conviction with sentences of up to 30 years. Many investigations and prosecutions led to the discovery and end of ongoing child sexual abuse. In one case, a defendant in Fresno was debriefed and the information led to a suspect in Iowa with whom images of child pornography had been traded. That individual had molested 23 minors and documented the abuse of 20 victims in still and video images. Mr. Gappa has also given numerous presentations to educators, law enforcement officers, and prosecutors at the local, regional, and national level on issues related to the federal prosecution of offenses involving the sexual exploitation of minors, and he has coordinated internet safety presentations at numerous schools.
  • William P. Cole and John B. Owens (Southern District of California) for their outstanding efforts in the successful prosecution, trial and sentencing in United States v. Treadwell. Since 2005, AUSAs Cole and Owens were investigating a series of complex investment fraud schemes involving attorneys, investment brokers, a real estate agent, and other “investment gurus.” This global investigation, called “Operation Golden Pyramid,” resulted in a series of convictions, culminating in a month-long trial in which the lead defendant, Randall Treadwell, received a 300-month sentence. His chief lieutenant, Ricky Sluder, received a 188-month sentence. Other defendants received sentences ranging from 63 to 87 months. Their unrivaled work ethic, legal and technological creativity, and exemplary advocacy skills secured the conviction of individuals who might accurately be characterized as economic predators of the first order and who had perpetrated a nation-wide Ponzi scheme.
  • Michael P. Carey and John M. Haried (District of Colorado) for their outstanding professional achievement in the successful prosecution of an owner and officers of BestBank of Boulder, Colorado, and two businessmen – a group of defendants whose fraudulent scheme cost American taxpayers more than $200 million. After a lengthy investigation, a grand jury returned a 95-count indictment, charging the owner and chief executive officer of the bank, Edward Mattar; the bank president, Thomas Boyd; and the chief financial officer, Jack Grace. Also charged were the Florida businessmen, Douglas Baetz and Glenn Gallant. The charges were based on the defendants’ efforts to fraudulently conceal from the bank’s board and the FDIC the delinquencies in the bank’s subprime credit card portfolio. This portfolio, which mostly was managed by Baetz’s and Gallant’s companies, constituted 70 percent of BestBank’s assets. Ultimately, after months of protracted motions practice, two trials, a dismissal of the jury and resuming the trial as a trial of the court, all defendants were found guilty. Sentences ranged from six to ten years.
  • Susan B. Menzer (District of Columbia) for her extraordinary dedication and skill in investigating and prosecuting the largest personal income tax evasion case brought in the United States. In United States v. Anderson, Walter Anderson masterminded an elaborate scheme involving several foreign corporations to conceal approximately $450 million in earnings from business ventures and to evade payment of more than $200 million in federal income taxes and District of Columbia use taxes. Anderson pleaded guilty to two counts of federal tax evasion and one count of defrauding the District of Columbia and was sentenced to nine years of imprisonment and ordered to pay restitution. Because of Ms. Menzer’s and Tax Division Trial Attorney Karen Kelly’s exemplary work and unshakeable determination in this difficult and complex case, justice triumphed and a strong message was sent that federal prosecutors will work tirelessly to unravel even the most complicated tax evasion schemes.
  • Benjamin W. Beard (Northern District of Florida) for excellent work in the trial of a series of high profile, complex criminal and civil cases in the Northern District of Florida and for his willingness to assist other AUSAs both in his office and the District of Virgin Islands. During his 25 years with the Department, AUSA Beard has mastered virtually every area of law an AUSA could be expected to handle. This knowledge, coupled with his outstanding abilities in the courtroom, resulted in AUSA Beard being consistently assigned some of the most difficult cases in the district, resulting in long work hours and a large diverse and complex caseload. In spite of his workload, AUSABeard frequently volunteers for additional duties and is always ready to assist other AUSAs. AUSA Beard is a consummate professional with superior knowledge of the law, work ethic, and character.
  • Barbara E. Nelan (Northern District of Georgia) for her remarkably good work in the complex investigation and successful prosecution of a massive $112 million mortgage fraud scheme that resulted in the conviction of 27 defendants, including the scheme’s mastermind, Phillip E. Hill. The Hill case was the largest single mortgage fraud case in metro Atlanta history and among the largest mortgage fraud cases in the nation. Those convicted included Hill, his lieutenants, closing attorneys, appraisers, loan officers, and straw purchasers. AUSA Nelan working with Special AUSA Robert Reed of the Antitrust Division collected, analyzed, and organized hundreds of thousands of pages of documents relating to over 50 homes and 250 condos involved in the fraud scheme, then used computer technology to efficiently and effectively present 2,400 exhibits through 90 witnesses during an eight-week trial. Their work on this investigation and prosecution of a complex case advancing one of the Department’s highest priorities exemplifies dedication, diligence, and quality performance in the best tradition of the Department.
  • Julie B. Porter (Northern District of Illinois) for being a leader and role model as a federal prosecutor. AUSA Porter has done outstanding work in multiple areas, which include the prosecution of the USAO’s most serious child exploitation cases including a pedophile priest and a pedophile school principal; spearheading the district’s Project Safe Childhood efforts, which includes training prosecutors to work on these cases and providing counsel at every stage; and playing key roles in the prosecution of corporate fraud cases in the Conrad Black case and the prosecution of public corruption in the Hired Truck scandal. Stuart A. Berman and Michael R. Pauzé (District of Maryland) for their dedication, talent and hard work investigating and prosecuting the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the largest public school systems in the United States for using his position to take kickbacks and steer contracts. As CEO of the Prince Georges County Public School System, Andre Hornsby was convicted of honest services wire fraud, wire fraud, obstruction of justice and witness tampering for fraudulently obtaining a nearly $1 million contract for technology software and obstructing the school board inquiry and federal criminal investigation into his conduct. After two lengthy and hard fought trials, Hornsby was convicted at trial and sentenced to serve six years in federal prison.
  • Robert R. Harding and Michael C. Hanlon (District of Maryland) for persevering through six years of tenacious investigation and litigation to bring to justice an exceedingly violent crew of killers, whom the trial judge described as the worst defendants he had seen in his career on the bench. The investigation demonstrated extraordinary creativity and perseverance and provided an outstanding example of constructive cooperation between local and federal law enforcement agencies. Consolidation of historical evidence linked those crimes and established that the four defendants were long-term associates in many other serious crimes. The prosecution resulted in the convictions of four men for RICO conspiracy and five murders in aid of racketeering. Three defendants received multiple life sentences; one received imprisonment of 40 years.
  • Hagen W. Frank (Western District of Michigan) for his superior efforts in conducting a complex grand jury investigation of a loosely organized group of ecological terrorists responsible for multiple acts of sabotage and arson over a 10-year period of time. The grand jury investigation solved over eight individual acts of eco-terrorism resulting in the conviction of five eco-terrorists in the district. The same grand jury investigation also led to the identification and prosecution of ecoterrorists in other districts. Sentences in these cases ranged from 36 months to 21 years 10 months imprisonment. The remarkable results are directly attributable to the tireless efforts of AUSA Frank.
  • Thomas W. Dawson and Bob Norman (Northern District of Mississippi) for their outstanding work on the investigation and prosecution of United States v. Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, et al. Their unparalleled dedication, skill, and judgment in this highly sensitive case with national attention resulted in convictions of all defendants. The team performed flawlessly, exhibiting extraordinary performance under pressure while executing tactical and strategic decisions in the successful prosecution that exposed a pattern of attempts to influence the judiciary. Their work has made a lasting positive impact on the Mississippi courts, attorneys, and our system of justice.
  • William E. Morse (District of New Hampshire) for his skill, persistence, judgment, hard work and professionalism in the difficult and very hotly contested investigation and trial of a corporate book-cooking scheme at Enterasys Networks, Inc. Mr. Morse led the large scale investigation and the resulting prosecution of this case from start to finish. Before, during, and after the trial, Mr. Morse was a highly effective advocate on behalf of the government, even in the face of an extraordinarily vigorous defense. He worked tirelessly and demonstrated creativity and excellent judgment. As a result of his efforts, the government obtained convictions against eight high level executives at Enterasys, including its Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, and the court imposed sentences of up to twelve years – among the longest ever imposed for the types of offenses in the case. Without Mr. Morse’s contributions, those results could not have been possible.
  • Ralph J. Marra Jr. and Joshua Drew (District of New Jersey) for their outstanding prosecution of former New Jersey State Senator Wayne Bryant and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Dean Michael Gallagher on official corruption charges. Senator Bryant was one of the most powerful members of the New Jersey state government as Chair of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and Deputy Majority Leader. Senator Bryant induced Dr. Gallagher to put him on the medical school payroll for a no-show job in exchange for millions of dollars in additional state funding for Dr. Gallagher’s school. Bryant and Gallagher were convicted of honest services mail and wire fraud and bribery and Senator Bryant was convicted of pension fraud. This case sent a strong signal that even the highest ranking public official is not immune from prosecution when he trades his public office for personal gain.
  • Mark J. McCarren and Paul B. Matey (District of New Jersey) for their outstanding contributions to the prosecution of Operation Emissary, the most successful investigation of consumers of hard-core pornography in the Department’s history. The investigation, which employed cutting edge investigative techniques, resulted in more than 350 domestic felony convictions in over 40 states including convictions of police officers, scouting leaders, teachers, doctors, lawyers, members of the military, prison guards, and numerous previously convicted sex offenders. The investigation also led to the identification of more than three dozen child molesters and dozens of victims of molestation. While the evidence developed as a result of Operation Emissary led most defendants to plead guilty, trials of individual defendants in nine districts have all resulted in convictions.
  • William E. Fitzpatrick and Michael A. Hammer (District of New Jersey) for the work that produced significant results in their investigation and prosecution of United States v. Mohamad Shnewer, Dritan Duka, Eljvir Duka, Shain Duka, and Serdar Tatar, also known as the “Fort Dix Case,” a domestic terrorism case. Their intensive efforts throughout the fourteen-month investigation and three-month trial resulted in the exposure of a plot to murder members of the United States military by attacking a military base, the prevention of such an attack, and the convictions of all defendants of the most serious charge - conspiracy to murder members of the United States military.
  • Gretchen L. Wylegala (Western District of New York) for her superior performance handling four complex fraud investigations, each involving millions of dollars and two involving hundreds of victims. In each case, Ms. Wylegala led a multi- agency investigation, coordinating asset forfeiture and other civil remedies while pursuing criminal charges. She is commended for her hard work and dedication as well as her outstanding abilities to analyze complex and voluminous financial transactions. Her work on these cases demonstrates her ability to analyze thousands of records and ascertain what are criminal charges. She also has an outstanding ability to organize facts and to present them to a trial or grand jury. Ms. Wylegala is tenacious in her quest to hunt down assets to forfeit for the victims. Her case presentation is always well researched and founded in the law and she manages multi-agency investigations with ease, negotiating territorial disputes to a swift conclusion so that the investigation moves forward. Ms. Wylegala handled these cases while managing a normal caseload of white collar and general crimes work.
  • Steven S. Neff and Christopher D. Poole (Eastern District of Tennessee) for their outstanding stewardship of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program and Violent Crime Unit in the Chattanooga office. From 2001 through 2004, AUSAs Poole and Neff compiled a formidable list of convictions for violent offenders in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area. Forty-two offenders, most of whom were armed career criminals or career offenders for sentencing guideline purposes, were inducted into the District’s PSN “Honor Roll.” These individuals were sentenced to an average of 265 months. In 2005, AUSAs Poole and Neff prosecuted 81 violent offenders and obtained an average sentence of 105 months. In 2006, AUSAs Poole and Neff prosecuted 80 violent offenders and obtained an average sentence of 123 months. In 2007, over 57 violent defendants were convicted and received an average sentence of 130 months. During their years of service in the Chattanooga branch office, the violent crime rate in the city dropped 31 percent.
  • Eli Richardson and David Rivera (Middle District of Tennessee) for their roles in the investigation, prosecution and conviction, after an extended jury trial, of former Tennessee State Senator John Ford from 2005 - 2008 . In July of 2008, Ford was convicted of multiple counts of wire fraud and concealment of material facts in connection with receiving over 1.4 million dollars from two different contractors of TennCare, the State of Tennessee’s version of Medicaid. During the trial, the United States proved that Ford sought to defraud the public out of its right to his honest services in two different schemes while he was a sitting State Senator. AUSAs Rivera and Richardson proved that Ford established and concealed consulting businesses and successfully funneled concealed payments of over $1.4 million dollars to himself and his associates in exchange for his influence in favor of managed and health care organizations doing business with the State of Tennessee. On September 29, 2008, Ford was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.
  • Belinda A. Beek and John R. Lewis (Southern District of Texas) for their exemplary and sustained roles in prosecuting fraud in the energy industry in Houston, Texas. At a time when the nation’s spotlight was focused on fraudulent corporate practices and on fraudulent practices in the energy industry in particular, AUSAs Lewis and Beek engaged in a six-year effort to prosecute fraud in the energy trading industry. Their efforts resulted in convictions of a dozen natural gas traders and resulted in a significant improvement in the system by which natural gas is priced throughout the nation.

SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE AS AN ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY - CIVIL

  • Kendall J. Newman (Eastern District of California) for his exceptional work and extraordinary results as the lead counsel in United States v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., 565 F. Supp.2d 1136 (Feb. 13, 2008), an affirmative action to recover damages from a wildfire which ignited due to the negligence of a railroad employee. The fire burned for three weeks before it could be suppressed, destroying over 21,000 acres of forest and wildlife habitat in the Plumas and Lassen National Forests, including pristine, old growth forests that Congress had designated for preservation as wilderness areas. Mr. Newman led the case from start to finish and ultimately recovered $102 million for the United States, of which the entire amount has already been paid back. This is the highest recovery ever by the United States for damages to National Forest land caused by fire. The recovery will contribute directly to the environment and our country’s natural resources, as $80 million is dedicated by statute to restoration of the National Forests devastated by the fire.
  • Wyneva Johnson (District of Columbia) for her superb work on nine employment discrimination jury trials within the last few years. Over the last years, she has tried nine employment law jury trials. This feat is particularly impressive because the District of Columbia is a very difficult jurisdiction in which to try employment cases. Despite an overwhelming caseload of other types of cases, AUSA Johnson has won her last three jury trials. The client agencies are constantly praising her work and work ethic.
  • Laurie J. Weinstein (District of Columbia) for her work in the $128 million settlement in United States ex rel Kapuscinski v Network Appliance, by establishing, after extensive investigation, violations by the defendant of the False Claims Act and the Truth in Negotiation Act. The defendant entered into a contract with GSA for sale of hardware and software related to archiving or otherwise backing up electronic data. In the context of the contract, the defendant misrepresented its pricing and failed to implement the price reduction clause of its contract, thereby giving non-governmental customers substantially greater discounts than those revealed to or made available to the government. The settlement is reported to be the largest ever for the GSA’s Office of Inspector General.
  • Gerald M. Burke (Southern District of Illinois) for his work ensuring that the sole source ambulance service for an entire county in rural Illinois continued to operate despite the fact that the company and its principal were indicted for a fraud scheme. If the company was forced to shut down, the community would have been left without reliable ambulance service. Using the Anti-Fraud Injunction Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1345, AUSA Burke petitioned the Court for a Receiver to be appointed so that the fraud would immediately cease, and then worked closely with the Receiver through the myriad of issues that accompany an ambulance company under indictment in an area that is bereft of medical services. After the company and its principal pled guilty to the fraud charges, AUSA Burke worked with the Receiver to shut down the company and transition the ambulance service to a new provider so that the community never was without its necessary ambulance service.
  • Anton P. Giedt (District of Massachusetts) for his record of unparalleled success in representing the United States in both civil affirmative and defensive cases. Since becoming an AUSA in 2002, he has amassed an unparalleled record of success in representing the interests of the United States in motion practice and at trial. He is both a masterful trial lawyer and negotiator whose remarkable advocacy skills, intellectual analysis, common sense, and strong power of persuasion consistently lead to favorable outcomes for the United States. He is undaunted by complicated bureaucracies, challenging fact patterns, and warring factions – in all of these situations, AUSAGiedt calmly navigates the right course for his client. In particular, he has distinguished himself by performing exceptionally and simultaneously both affirmative and defensive work. He has handled affirmative fraud, Administrative Procedures Act, tort, medical malpractice, Bivens, immigration, and forfeiture cases all in a superlative fashion and all at the same time. AUSA Giedt is the go-to person in the Civil Division for difficult, sensitive and complicated cases.
  • Elizabeth Smoot Tonkin (Eastern District of Tennessee) for her outstanding work in civil prosecutions of health care and procurement fraud. Since 2005, she has negotiated multiple settlements of health care and procurement fraud claims, recovering more than $50 million. She led a team that achieved a $40 million settlement, the largest single-hospital Stark Anti-Kickback Statute settlement at the time. She recovered $1.7 million in settling claims related to six years of overpayments by the government and private sources to a cardiology group. She obtained a $6.2 million settlement from a government contractor who made fraudulent claims for contractor bonuses and who falsified safety records. Lastly, she successfully settled a claim for $1.3 million arising out of more than three years of pharmaceutical over billing by a national nursing home pharmaceutical provider.
  • Harold E. Brown and R. Barry Robinson (Western District of Texas) for providing an outstanding defense in Barraza et al. v. United States, an FTCA/wrongful death case involving defending the actions of several Custom and Border Protection officers in their attempted arrest and shooting death of an alien. Several witnesses testified the alien was shot as he was backing away. The officers testified that the alien was shot as he charged forward with a raised steel pipe. Discovery was contentious and involved over two dozen depositions, taken across the country. Numerous complicated legal issues regarding applicable standards of conduct, damages and conflicts of law (including disputes regarding Mexican law on recoverable damages) were briefed. Following trial, the Court issued a lengthy decision in favor of the government, holding that the officers’ actions were reasonable and circumstances justified use of deadly force.

SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE AS AN ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY - APPELLATE

  • Joan G. Ruffennach (District of Arizona) for her successful defense and preservation on appeal of a conviction arising out of a complex scheme to profit from stolen helicopter parts. The task was daunting because the record of the three-month trial spanned thousands of pages, defendants’ raised non-frivolous issues of constitutional significance, and the original trial lawyer had left the office by the time of the appeal. In 2001, the defendants were first indicted for interstate transportation of stolen property. The type of property – stolen helicopter parts – and the sophistication of the scheme and the victim – Boeing Aircraft – made for an unusual case from the outset. Nearly eight years later, in May 2009, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld all convictions in the case, and paid an unusual tribute to the quality of AUSA Ruffennach’s appellate advocacy in the case, by adopting both the analysis and language of her oral argument and briefing.
  • J. Douglas Wilson (Northern District of California) for his contributions to the Department’s appellate work over the last 20 years. During his tenure, Mr. Wilson argued over 95 appeals, in every circuit in the country, and in 2008 prepared the briefs and argued two of the Department’s most significant appeals, United States v. Jeffrey Skilling and United States v. Comprehensive Drug Testing, Inc., et al. (CDT). The Fifth Circuit’s affirmance of Skillings’ convictions stands as a shining accomplishment for the Department’s efforts in combating the fallout from the energy crisis and the related fraud that was perpetrated on the investing public. The CDT litigation, which culminated in an en banc argument in the Ninth Circuit in December 2008, will settle any dispute in the Ninth Circuit over the government’s search protocol when it seeks to seize and search computers and related electronic storage medium.
  • James C. Murphy (District of Colorado) for his outstanding work during the appellate phase in the criminal litigation that arose out of the failure of BestBank of Boulder, Colorado. Defendants Baetz and Gallant appealed their convictions and sentences, defendants Boyd and Grace appealed only their sentences, and the government cross-appealed all of the sentences. The defendants challenged the sufficiency of the evidence with respect to the bank fraud, aiding and abetting the filing of false call reports, wire fraud, and participating in a continuing financial crimes enterprise. With the assistance of AUSAs Haried and Carey (the trial attorneys), AUSA Murphy briefed the cases, and at a special half-day session argued the cases with Mr. Haried before the Tenth Circuit. On August 20, 2008, in a 58-page opinion, the Court of Appeals upheld all of the convictions except for two wire fraud counts.
  • Elizabeth H. Danello (District of Columbia) for her longstanding work in the Appellate Division since 1990. During this time she served as a Senior Assistant, Senior Litigation Counsel, and interim Deputy Chief. She handled many of the Office’s most important and challenging appellate cases, including en banc cases and other matters of unusual complexity and significance. Ms. Danello is also an extremely talented oral advocate. She prepares meticulously and is articulate and convincing in court. She repeatedly garners praise from the judges before whom she appears. Because of her remarkable ability, dedication, and efficiency, Ms. Danello has made extraordinary contributions to the USAO.
  • Stephan J. Baczynski (Western District of New York) for his outstanding sustained performance of duties in the Appellate Division. An AUSA for 27 years, Mr. Baczynski effectively utilizes his singular writing and oral advocacy skills to obtain appellate results consistently favorable to the United States. Through his superior written work product, thorough preparation, and capable presentations at oral argument, Mr. Baczynski has gained the respect and the esteem of judges of the United States District Court, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and his colleagues. He is able to maintain his exceptional standards even, and especially, when a case presents a particularly complicated or convoluted factual scenario. Mr. Baczynski”s sustained outstanding performance of his duties is admirable.
  • Paige Auer Winck (Eastern District of Tennessee) for outstanding appellate work. For over 23 years, AUSA Winck has provided a keen eye, intellect, and judgment to improving the written and appellate work of the USAO. Uncompromising in her standards, she has worked thousands of hours of uncompensated overtime during her career to deliver a first-rate written product to the federal courts. In addition to the quality of her work, the volume that she is able to effectively handle is also remarkable. During her career, she has written or reviewed thousands of pleadings filed on behalf of the United States. AUSAWinck is able to quickly discern the factual and legal issues, identify relevant case law, and apply sound logic and reasoning to the position of the United States. Over the years, she has also taught dozens of AUSAs how to write more clearly and communicate their thoughts more convincingly.

SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE BY A LITIGATIVE TEAM

  • Valerie Hsieh Chu, Jason A. Forge, Phillip L.B. Halpern, Martha A. Hernandez (Southern District of California); Seth Hagaman and William B. Mitchell (Central Intelligence Agency); Jerry R. Crosby and Samuel S. Medigovich (Defense Criminal Investigative Service); Jamie Harrison and Eric Helfand (Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division); and Erin C. Phan and Lamont C. Siller (Federal Bureau of Investigation) for their work investigating and successfully prosecuting in the last year two historic public corruption cases. The case of United States v. Brent Wilkes charged a San Diego-based defense contractor with orchestrating one of the largest corruption schemes in the history of the U.S. Congress of over $2 million in bribes in exchange for tens of millions in government contracts. The case of United States v. Kyle Foggo charged a years-long corruption scheme perpetrated by the Executive Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the highest ranking member ever indicted. Together, these prosecutions involved over 140 grand jury witnesses, over 700 grand jury subpoenas, search warrants in four judicial districts on both coasts, including the first-ever search of a CIA Executive Office, and multi-district complex litigation. The Wilkes case, which centered on the corruption of Congressman Randall Cunningham, culminated with a month-long trial, with the team securing guilty verdicts on all counts of conspiracy, honest services wire fraud, bribery, and money laundering. He was then sentenced to 144 months imprisonment. The Foggo case uncovered corrupt influences over an array of contracts ranging from a $1,000 pallet of water to over $130 million for air support operations. The case was transferred to the Eastern District of Virginia, where the same trial team obtained a Superseding Indictment broadening the scope of Foggo’s scheme. Months of successful complex litigation culminated with Foggo’s guilty plea to the honest services fraud scheme. Foggo was sentenced to 37 months imprisonment which is the first-ever imprisonment of an executive-level official of the CIA.
  • William M. Brown Jr. and Anthony E. Kaplan (District of Connecticut); Lana N. Pettus and Richard A. Udell (Environmental and Natural Resources Division); and Luke M. Reid (United States Coast Guard) for their successful pursuit and prosecution of Ionia Management related to the extensive discharge of oil-contaminated waste by the tanker M/T Kriton and in the face of concerted efforts to obstruct justice. Through the sustained efforts of this litigative team, the government was able to conduct and complete a complicated and exceedingly difficult environmental investigation, return a lengthy indictment against Ionia Management, and convict Ionia and two officers of the oil tanker M/T Kriton after a hotly-contested jury trial of violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, and other charge – all within a 150-day period. Not only was a recalcitrant environmental offender brought to justice and placed under stringent probationary conditions, but favorable law was created as a result of this case which will aid the government in future environmental and obstruction investigations and prosecutions.
  • Aleyda Borges-Tognozzi, Juliet Falcon, Wilfredo Fernandez, and Alison W. Lehr (Southern District of Florida); Steven D. Grimberg (Tax Division); and Isabel C. Fleitas-Gruba, Joseph LozowickiAlfonso J. Herrera, William Rondon, and Donnell Young (Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division) for the investigation, prosecution, and conviction of the owner and principals of a check cashing store that laundered more than $132 million and put an end to one of the most prolific money laundering operations in South Florida’s history. From August 2005 to January 2008, law enforcement agents unraveled a scheme where Florida construction companies and subcontractors cashed checks in anonymity, in exchange for a commission based on the face value of the check. The defendants, the owners and principals of La Bamba Check Cashing, recruited customers, mostly local construction companies and subcontractors, who avoided paying Social Security and other taxes by cashing checks at La Bamba through shell companies that the defendants owned or controlled. On behalf of their customers, the defendants filed false Currency Transaction Reports and for this service, La Bamba, its owner, and others earned millions of dollars in fees. The three and a half month trial resulted in convictions the corporate defendant, La Bamba and its owner who was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Forfeiture proceeding resulted in an $11 million settlement.
  • Pamela Bearg, PJ Foster, Syrena C. Hargrove, and Ardis Robinson (District of Idaho) for their work on the Duncan capital trial team. These individuals are recognized for their outstanding teamwork, effective performance and dedication to justice in the prosecution and capital sentence of Joseph Edward Duncan III. This successful team effort resulted in bringing justice to a northern Idaho family and community after horrific child sexual torture murders that terrified Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and the northwestern United States in the spring and summer of 2005. The team of attorneys and support staff faced numerous legal and logistical challenges. Their professionalism, focus, teamwork and common purpose provided exceptional service to the United States.
  • Brenda S. Nietert and Stephanie M. Rose (Northern District of Iowa) and Sarah C. Boblenz (Drug Enforcement Administration) for the investigation and prosecution of the largest and most successful Internet pharmacy case in Department of Justice history. Demonstrating remarkable ingenuity, skill, and tenacity, these three permanently “logged off” two Internet pharmacies responsible for the illegal distribution of millions of dosage units of controlled substances throughout the country. Their efforts led to 29 convictions and the forfeiture of more than $6.9 million. While managing this wide-ranging investigation and prosecution, AUSA Rose and Investigator Boblenz became the Department’s “go-to” team with respect to all aspects of investigating and prosecuting Internet pharmacy cases.
  • Kimberly C. Cooper, Don Feith, Sheila Jenkins-Hamilton, Caryn Shedd, Sharon Reeve Taub, and Gretchen Leah Witt (District of New Hampshire) and Jean B. Weld, (Criminal Division) for their extraordinary cooperative effort in the criminal prosecution and asset forfeiture litigation, using the newly-enacted provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. Their extraordinary teamwork produced significant success in the two-pronged criminal prosecution, U.S. v. Taillon and civil asset forfeiture litigation, U.S. v. Funds on Deposit, et al., of a large international organized racketeering enterprise operating out of Montreal, Canada. The criminal enterprise operated a telemarketing lottery scheme that targeted elderly American citizens often of significant financial means. Operating from 2001 through April 2002, the enterprise collected more than $7 million dollars from 118 victims. The exceptional teamwork resulted in the criminal prosecution of 12 defendants and the successful forfeiture of more than $3.8 million dollars, which was used to pay restitution to the elderly victims. This joint effort showed how criminal and civil resources can be used creatively to combat international organized crime and to restore laundered proceeds to victims despite complex efforts to place assets beyond the reach of law enforcement.
  • Cheryl Kinmartin, Patricia Manning, Margaret M. McFarlandTheresa Tetlow, and Robert G. Trusiak (Western District of New York) for their demonstrated excellence in the civil prosecution of health care fraud resulting in a $75 million False Claims Act, Common Law and administrative resolution against Kyphon, Inc., a/k/a Medtronic Spine, LLC (“Kyphon”) for causing the submission of false claims to Medicare by informing certain hospitals and physicians that the federal government required an inpatient stay for the kyphoplasty procedure in order to increase the reimbursement received. The robust employment of the full range of investigative techniques, including scores of provider interviews in several states, the timely review of thousands of e-mails and nationwide billing data analysis permitted the government to successfully demonstrate causation by Kyphon. The United States secured this successful result due to the aggressive, fair and indefatigable investigative efforts of Ms. Tetlow, Ms. McFarland, and Ms. Manning, coupled with the outstanding prosecutive abilities of Mr. Trusiak.
  • J. Frank Bradsher, Eric Evenson, Linda H. Hayes, and Leslie S. Hiatt (Eastern District of North Carolina); Thomas Beers (Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division); Paul Rodriguez (United States Secret Service); and Mark Brewington (North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation) for their outstanding work in the five-year investigation and resulting high-profile prosecution of corruption and racketeering activities within the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, including the former Sheriff, several of his closest commanding officers, and his entire Drug Unit. The defendants were involved in a spectrum of illegal activities including theft of federal funds, misappropriation of county funds, arson, civil rights violations, theft of seized drug money, theft of narcotics, distribution of controlled substances, racial profiling, money laundering, kidnaping, home invasion, satellite piracy, illegal wiretapping, perjury, bribery, and extortion. The team did a superior job of writing a detailed RICO indictment, developing law enforcement and civilian witnesses, handling complex pre-trial litigation, and negotiating plea agreements with all 22 law enforcement officers charged. The combined sentences of all defendants totaled more than 100 years imprisonment, with sentences ranging from three months to 34.5 years.
  • Jose Luis Acosta (Western District of Texas); Enrique Corral and Samantha Mikeska (Federal Bureau of Investigation); Andres Sanchez (El Paso Police Department) for their outstanding team work in convicting 22 members of the Barrio Azteca gang in El Paso, Texas. The team secured a total of 12 indictments against 32 defendants (ten of whom remain fugitives) including charges against 16 gang member and leaders for racketeering violations, including murder and violence in aid of racketeering, money laundering and drug trafficking. Six of the gang’s senior leaders were convicted following a four week trial, five were sentenced to life imprisonment, the sixth to 384 months. The trial was complicated by numerous threats against witnesses, many of whom had to be moved to other locales, and one cooperator was murdered. The volume of evidence, including many coded recorded conversations and letters between gang members, and the fearfulness of witnesses required outstanding team work during the investigation and trial of this complex case against extremely violent offenders.
  • Erik R. Barnett, Daniel J. Grooms, Lauren A. Wetzler, and Heather J. Lee (Eastern District of Virginia); Bryan D. Wilhite (Federal Bureau of Investigation); and Steven L. Carroll, Daniel L. Horton, and Thomas L. Hulse (Fairfax County Police Department) for their outstanding work convicting 16 defendants in “Operation Smackdown” targeting a suburban Virginia heroin ring. This heroin ring was responsible for four heroin overdose deaths and at least a dozen non-fatal overdoses, all within the Centreville community and involving young people between 16 and 22 years of age. The team did an exceptional job identifying the sources of heroin within this community and dismantling the network of dealers through prosecution, all within an extremely short period of time, to prevent further overdoses and deaths. This prosecution received significant public attention as 15 defendants pleaded guilty and the one remaining defendant was convicted at trial, resulting in four defendants receiving mandatory 20-year sentences for distribution resulting in death.

SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE IN A LITIGATIVE SUPPORT ROLE

  • Tammy Lou Zelina (District of Arizona) for her work as the sole paralegal in the Immigration Unit of the Tucson branch office for the last seven years. She has overseen the preparation of more than 8,000 indictments and plea packages. Her strong commitment to the USAO allows for a large number of felony immigration offenses to be prosecuted in the most efficient manner. For each case, she reviews the reports and prepares a draft of the indictment. She also analyzes the defendant’s prior convictions to determine the appropriate plea offer to make and prepares the draft plea agreement. Her preparation of these documents is always error free, despite the high volume of work.
  • Erin Zacuto (Central District of California) for the significant role she played in the successful investigation and prosecution of the Drew Street/Avenues Gang, the Mongols Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, and the Florencia-13 Gang. Her dedication and commitment contributed to the conviction of literally hundreds of very violent and dangerous members of these gangs, the seizures of substantial assets and quantities of narcotics, and of primary significance, the restoration of a meaningful quality of life to the neighborhoods that were victimized by these gang members. In this effort, Ms. Zacuto devoted very long hours, including weekends, and was constantly on-call. She managed exhibits, witnesses, and tens of thousands of pages of discovery. In the Drew Street case, she was the sole paralegal assigned to the case and worked tirelessly to review and prepare materials for the indictment and arraignment of more that 70 defendants. She reviewed and indexed more that 10,000 pages of discovery, as well as wiretap recordings, and monitored jail conversations. At every turn, Zacuto’s contributions were acknowledged and appreciated by her colleagues, the court, and defense counsel.
  • Christopher Francis and Mary Dano Kennedy (Western District of Kentucky) for their invaluable support to the litigation team in the criminal prosecution of the first soldier charged and convicted under the Military Territorial Jurisdiction Act for war crimes committed during the Iraq War. Mr. Francis overcame considerable logistical obstacles to facilitate travel to and from Baghdad of ten Iraqi witnesses for trial, including two minor boys orphaned as a result of the murders charged in the case. The witnesses, most of whom spoke no English, required daily attention, including a couple of significant medical emergencies. Ms. Kennedy provided primary paralegal support in preparation for the trial. She organized and scanned thousands of pages of trial transcript, documents, photographs, email messages, and other evidence and put it in a digital format which was easily retrievable at trial. This exceptional organization was essential to the efficient presentation of evidence at trial, and to the successful conviction of the defendant.
  • David G. Perkins (Western District of Kentucky) for his outstanding work on the investigation of Gohmann Asphalt and Construction, Inc. (Gohmann). Mr. Perkins’ investigation of this case helped to bring about a settlement wherein Gohmann agreed to pay $8.2 million to settle federal and state claims that Gohmann fraudulently swapped samples of asphalt between 1997 and 2006 to inflate the amount of monies paid on road projects by the Federal Highway Administration, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and State of Indiana. Gohmann, one of the region’s largest highway paving companies, agreed to provide warranties to correct deficiencies in work on highways in Kentucky and Indiana.
  • Marcia Thomas Bayne, Elizabeth Ann Mitchell, and Lisa C. Parker (Eastern District of Pennsylvania) for their outstanding work in the area of violent crime and sexual exploitation. During the past year they actively supported a large group of children (infants to young teens) who were filmed while the defendant sexually exploited them in the home of their “nanny” and mother. These assaults continued for years with the resultant physical and psychological trauma. The recipients supported the victims through the pretrial and trial proceedings where a number of them had to testify. The children were reluctant witnesses who developed a rapport with the Victim Witness Staff, which greatly assisted in their willingness to proceed as witnesses in the trial. The court authorized monthly visits by the children of the “nanny” defendant in prison, with the understanding that Victim Witness Staff would accompany the children on all visits, and there would be no discussion of the pending trial. During the past year this group was also instrumental in keeping witnesses safe from dangerous drug organizations and gangs which have in the past used arson to kill, and one organization that had brazenly gunned down a potential federal witness and her guest.

SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE IN ADMINISTRATION

  • Michael J. Laskowski (Northern District of Georgia) for his creative and innovative work in the Information Technology community that has greatly benefitted the District, as well as the entire USAO community. In March 2009, he migrated the District’s intranet onto the SharePoint platform and created USATube, a true web 2.0 video blog site, designed to encourage collaboration and provide clear, simple, and effective training for employees on issues related to information and litigation technology. Mr. Laskowski spent many long days and nights, including considerable off-duty time, to develop this technology. In recognition of his skills and innovative ideas, he was detailed for three weeks in May 2009 to EOUSA’s Web and SharePoint Teams to assist with several web projects and to initiate the launch of USATube nationwide. Mr.Laskowski”s tireless work and enthusiasm with which he pursues and solves technological challenges is exemplary.
  • Robert J. Sperry (Eastern District of Wisconsin) for his outstanding leadership and performance as the District’s Administrative Officer (AO). He made the difficult transition from Information Technology Manager to AO in a highly professional and competent manner and immediately became a critical member of the senior management team. Within his first year as AO, he had to perform not only the duties of the AO, but also of the Information Technology Manager and the Budget Officer. Despite his lack of experience in personnel and budgetary issues, he handled the responsibilities with great professionalism and poise. His contributions during this time allowed the USAO to make informed and effective hiring and budget decisions. His unparalleled leadership has greatly improved the Administrative Division’s morale and its ability to effectively support the litigative mission of the office.

SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE BY AN ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM

  • Cathy A. McGarry, Patricia J. Mellody ,Christine M. Osborne, Linda L. Smith, and Patricia A. Wiscount (Middle District of Pennsylvania) for its support to the mission of the USAO during periods of unparalleled change and transition. As a result of the consummate teamwork of these administrative division specialists, this office has attained extraordinary levels of litigation success, while engaging in comprehensive renovations and improvements of all three district offices. The team has also skillfully guided the district’s budget during times of fiscal constraint, enabling the district to perform its litigation mission without interruption, while increasing staffing by 20% in a two year span, supporting an active office internal awards program, and providing capital improvements in furniture and equipment for staff totaling approximately $350,000.
  • Edward F. Gallagher III, Kesha T. Handy, Joseph C. MaglioloRuben R. Perez, and Caren A.W. Thomas (Southern District of Texas) for their extraordinary effort in creating and directing the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance. Since 2005, this team has played a leading role in developing national curricula and providing training for over 800 members of the federal, state and local law enforcement community and non-governmental organizations, as well as thousands of others at national and international forums, in how to recognize, investigate and prosecute human trafficking crimes. The Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance is a paradigm of excellence for the nation: its efforts have resulted in the rescue of 133 victims of human trafficking and the convictions of 16 defendants for trafficking-related offenses, including the largest ever trafficking prosecution in the continental United States.

SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE IN INDIAN COUNTRY

  • Randolph J. Seiler (District of South Dakota) for his work in Indian county over the course of his 14 years as an AUSA. He has spent countless hours on Indian reservations, forging relationships, earning respect, and serving as a tribal liaison. As a result, AUSA Seiler is a known and trusted federal prosecutor with a reputation for hard work and fairness. He has tried over 75 jury trials – most involving violent offenses committed in Indian country – and handled hundreds of other Indian country prosecutions. His unflagging support of victims, unceasing energy, and courtroom success have also made him a nationally recognized expert on virtually every issue associated with the prosecution of violent crime in Indian country. By any measure, his efforts can only be described as “exceptional contributions” to the Department’s work in Indian country.
  • Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

    SEATTLE — More than 60 former top federal prosecutors attended the National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys annual conference here last weekend. Main Justice tagged along, and we confess: We were a little star struck at finally getting to meet many of the luminaries we’ve been covering since launching last spring.

    Founded in 1979, NAFUSA (pronounced na-foo-sa) counts about 300 former U.S. Attorneys as members. Not all living former U.S Attorneys are members of the bipartisan organization, but admission is open to any ex-U.S. Attorney who has was appointed by the president, the Attorney General or a court.

    The NAFUSA is a who’s who of ex-prosecutors. Many are founders of their own law firms, and several are partners at major international firms. NAFUSA can even count among its members most of the U.S. Attorneys fired in 2006 and former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr, who left the Republican Party to run as the 2008 presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party.

    Former U.S. Attorneys give Nixon-era Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus a standing ovation in Seattle last weekend. (Photo by Jack Storms)

    Former U.S. Attorneys give Nixon-era Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus a standing ovation in Seattle last weekend. (Photo by Jack Storms)

    We even found out that these former U.S. Attorneys were a pretty fun group, despite having buttoned-down and high-influence jobs at some of the nation’s top law firms.

    Not all of them wore suits. Some opted for open-buttoned polo shirts and jeans. A few donned cowboy boots.

    They argued about which college football team was the best as they munched on banana nut bread and fruit for breakfast. They complained about the difficulty  in getting their hotel showers to function correctly. They even discussed their nights out at the bar and indulged in a few cocktails at conference events over the weekend.

    Despite coming from different administrations stretching back to President Johnson, their political ideologies aren’t evident as they share jokes and drinks with each other.

    “After awhile, you forget who is who,” said Margaret Person Currin, who served in the Eastern District of North Carolina from 1988 to 1993.

    But with Barack Obama now in the White House, there were a lot of new faces at this conference from the Bush administration.

    Many of the U.S. Attorneys in this class work for firms like Greenberg Traurig and the Ashcroft Law Firm, which was founded by former Attorney General John Ashcroft. For many of the Bush U.S. Attorneys and most NAFUSA members, the conference is a rare opportunity to catch up with former colleagues.

    Johnny Sutton, who served in the Western District of Texas from 2001 to 2009, said keeping up friendships is “one of the main reasons” former U.S. Attorneys join NAFUSA and come to the conference. “You really develop strong relationships with these U.S. Attorneys over the years,” said Sutton, who is now with the Ashcroft Law Firm.

    But outgoing NAFUSA President Mike McKay, who served in the Western District of Washington from 1989 to 1993, said there is more to the conference than catching up with former coworkers.

    “Most people join initially to see their colleagues,” McKay said. “But once they join, there are a lot of other wonderful opportunities.”

    A highlight of the weekend were remarks from former Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus, who resigned in 1973 rather than carry out President Nixon’s orders to fire special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox in what became known as the Saturday Night Massacre. (We’ll have more about Ruckelshaus tomorrow).

    Other speakers included drug czar Gil Kerlikowske; Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys Director H. Marshall Jarrett; Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones; newly confirmed Western District of Washington U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan and Assistant U.S. Attorney Marshall Miller, who is the lead prosecutor in the terrorism case against Najibullah Zazi. Miller was honored with an award.

    Dave Boerner, a professor at the Seattle University School of Law, also discussed ethical issues surrounding the Bush-era memos on harsh interrogation methods at the conference. Andrew Siegel, who also teaches at the Seattle University School of Law, gave a rundown on the cases the Supreme Court heard during its last session.

    “It is great to come here and exchange ideas,” said former NAFUSA President Ed Dowd, who served in the Eastern District of Missouri from 1993 to 1999.

    The exchange of ideas for NAFUSA is not always academic. NAFUSA members have informal discussions with the administration officials, who speak at the conference. The organization also meets at least once a year with EOUSA and the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, an influential policy-making and advisory body that serves as the voice of the U.S. Attorneys in Washington.

    NAFUSA Executive Director Ron Woods, who served in the Southern District of Texas from 1990 to 1993, said the organization is not “banging on the door” of the Justice Department. But NAFUSA helps out anytime it is called on.

    McKay said NAFUSA rarely takes formal positions on issues since it is a bipartisan organization. One notable exception was a letter to Bush Justice Department officials that expressed concern about the firing of nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006 — including McKay’s brother, John McKay, who was the Western District of Washington U.S. Attorney.

    “It is unusual when we, as a group, make a public statement,” the outgoing NAFUSA president said.

    Although the Justice Department has been scarred by Bush administration scandals, NAFUSA members have not lost faith in DOJ. The former U.S. Attorneys continue to hold the Justice Department close to their hearts.

    “We have an abiding love of the Justice Department and that keeps us coming back [to the annual conference],” said Don Stern, who served in Massachusetts from 1993 to 2001. “It is the greatest law firm in the world.”

    Thursday, September 17th, 2009
    Lanny Breuer (USDOJ)

    Lanny Breuer (USDOJ)

    After the Ted Stevens case imploded, Attorney General Eric Holder announced new training initiatives to ensure prosecutors fulfill their discovery obligations, and he formed a working group to hammer out best practices.

    Apparently, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, who co-chairs the group, and the gang over at the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys are making good on Holder’s word.

    The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Education, based at the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, S.C., is holding a “Criminal Case Management and Discovery Conference” in October. Check out the description:

    By memorandum dated August 24, 2009, EOUSA Director Marshall Jarrett directed all United States Attorneys to immediately appoint their Senior Litigation Counsel (SLC) as the Discovery Trainer for the office and has required this person to attend the Criminal Case Management and Discovery Conference to be held at the National Advocacy Center on October 14-16, 2009. This course will focus on a variety of discovery related issues, including Brady-Giglio, Rule 16 discovery, Jencks, managing discovery pre-indictment, informants, and agent and attorney notes. In addition, each participant will receive training materials related to the subject matter of the conference to facilitate the mandatory training all AUSAs will be required to attend by the end of the year.

    The discovery trainers, according to a Justice Department official, will provide guidance and periodic training to Assistant U.S. Attorneys.

    (UPDATE 9/17 9:05 a.m.) Another Justice Department official told us representatives from the Criminal Division will also participate in the training.

    Emmet Sullivan

    Emmet Sullivan

    The federal judiciary, meanwhile, is considering a proposal by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to amend Rule 16 to require prosecutors to disclose any exculpatory material to defense lawyers.

    Sullivan, who dismissed the Stevens indictment at Holder’s request, appointed an outside counsel to investigate the prosecutors who handled the case for possible criminal contempt. The case was rife with government errors, and Sullivan has since been among the leading voices in the judiciary for new discovery policy.

    Breuer, as criminal chief, is an ex-officio member of the conference’s Criminal Rules Committee. He is expected to state the department’s position on Sullivan’s proposal before the committee meets in October.

    Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

    The path to becoming one of the nation’s 93 U.S. Attorneys is long and arduous, replete with reams of paperwork, background investigations, and the usual jockeying for a place in line.

    There’s an art to positioning yourself on the shortlist, and it varies by state and often by district. But there is one constant in the process — the all-important Washington interview, held in an airy conference room on the second floor of the Main Justice building.

    The Justice Department has asked candidates not to discuss the process. A spokeswoman told us revealing the details of the interviews would be akin to handing out the answers to a test before it’s administered. If that’s the case, we’ve cobbled together a cheat sheet below, based on interviews with several people who agreed to discuss their experiences on the condition that they not be named. No need to thanks us.

    First, let’s set the scene.

    You are escorted through the Main Justice building to a waiting room, where you are asked to plug holes in your paperwork or add clarity — gaps in employment, places you’ve lived, and so on — and to fill out additional forms, if necessary. By and by, you are led into the conference room, a gaping space bisected by a long boardroom table.

    H. Marshall Jarrett (usdoj)

    Then come the introductions.

    Associate Deputy Attorney General David Margolis is very much in charge, as he was during the previous administration. He’s been questioning would-be U.S. attorneys for more than a decade. Margolis is supported by H. Marshall Jarrett, the new director of EOUSA; White House liaison Margaret Richardson; and a roster of other political and career officials from EOUSA, the Office of Legal Policy, and the White House counsel’s office. The names and offices varied slightly during the course of our reporting, so we’ll leave it at that.

    There are seven or eight of them, your interviewers, and they announce themselves quickly. (You’ll probably forget one or two of their names.) You are planted at the head, in the hot seat. Margolis and the others cluster around you, leaving a large, empty stretch of table.

    The questions begin. Here they are, in no particular order — and definitely paraphrased:

    • Why do you want to be U.S. attorney?
    • Who is your favorite lawyer and why?
    • Who is your favorite non-lawyer, someone who isn’t famous, and why?
    • What’s your view of the press, and how would you approach the media as U.S. attorney?
    • Tell us about your district. What are the problem areas and delineate your priorities, were you to be confirmed as U.S. attorney?
    • What type of management style would you bring to the job? How would you deal with problem employees?
    • If you live outside your district, how quickly could you up and move?

    That’s the first part, more or less. As you can see, the questions are rather open-ended, and the interviewers let you prattle, rarely asking any follow-ups, we’re told. One person told us an official in the room, a young woman, fell asleep at the table during their interview. Tough crowd.

    J. Edgar Hoover (usdoj)

    After the first series of questions, most of the people in the room stand up and leave. Three or so remain, including Margolis and Jarrett. Then begins the “J. Edgar Hoover” segment of the interview, as one person put it.

    Tom Daschle (gov)

    In the more intimate setting, they ask you the Tom Daschle question. (Do you always pay them on time? Do you have any unpaid taxes?) The Zoë Baird question. (Do you have a nanny, and if so, do you pay your nanny taxes?) The dope question. (Do you use any illegal drugs, have you in the past?) The catchall question. (Have you done anything that might embarass the president?) Finally, the plastic question. (Do you pay off your credit card bill in full each month, or do you carry a balance?)

    All told, the interview runs somewhere between 45 minutes to an hour and a half, the people said. If you make the cut, you’ll be called back to Washington to meet with Deputy Attorney General David Ogden and Attorney General Eric Holder.

    Thursday, July 30th, 2009

    Patrick Fitzgerald, the top prosecutor in Illinois’ Northern District, has been named interim chairman of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys (AGAC).

    Patrick Fitzgerald (DOJ)

    Patrick Fitzgerald (DOJ)

    In his new role, Fitzgerald will be the lead voice for the U.S. attorney community. It’s the latest high-profile assignment for America’s prosecutor, who has been busy overseeing the prosecution of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), bringing down mortgage fraudsters, and fighting with journalists.

    H. Marshall Jarrett, director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, made the announcement earlier this month in a memo to the nation’s 93 U.S. attorneys.

    The committee, which represents the views of the nation’s top prosecutors and molds law enforcement policy, has dwindled in size as Bush-era appointees have headed for the exit. Fitzgerald replaces Karin Immergut, the former U.S. attorney in Oregon, who stepped down as chairwoman this month to become a state judge. (Fun facts: Fitzgerald and Immergut share the same birthdate — December 22, 2021 — are both from Brooklyn, and attended Amherst College together.)

    Fitzgerald’s assignment is significant. It means the U.S. attorney community now has a chief ambassador with some staying power. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) recommended Fitzgerald for another term, an overture that was well-received by Attorney General Eric Holder.

    Holder’s Justice Department has been working with a group of outgoing Bush-era U.S. attorneys, except for Fitzgerald, who was appointed to AGAC last year, and possibly Jim Letten, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana. (Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) has said she wants Letten to stay on the job. He serves on the AGAC subcommittees on national security, environmental crimes and violent crimes.) The AGAC meetings have been constructive, Justice officials say, but it stands to reason that Holder would prefer a committee of Obama appointees, vetted and interviewed by his department, to help him put policy in motion.

    Fitzgerald will be keeping the seat warm for B. Todd Jones, who, as we reported here, is slated to chair the committee if confirmed. Jones, the nominee for the U.S. attorney for the District of Minnesota, has broad support and could see a vote on his nomination in the full Senate before the August recess. Jones is currently a partner at  Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi in Minneapolis.

    The AGAC, at full strength, comprises 17 members whose terms last about three years.  The terms are staggered, and new members are generally appointed each year. The committee meets regularly with the attorney general, the deputy attorney general and staff.

    Monday, July 20th, 2009

    Justice Department officials today announced plans to ramp up training and education efforts in South Carolina.

    David Ogden (usdoj)

    David Ogden (usdoj)

    Deputy Attorney General David Ogden said the department would lease about 326,000 square feet of space on the campus of the University of South Carolina to house operations and staff for the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys and new state-of-the-art courtrooms, classrooms, and meeting space for seminars and conferences.

    The university is home to the National Advocacy Center, a training center for local, state and federal lawyers that opened in 1998. More than 170,000 federal and state personnel from around the country have passed through its doors. The relocation, to a building adjacent to the NAC, will save the department an estimated $42.8 million over the 20-year period of the lease, officials said.

    “What we will build here will serve the cause of justice for generations to come,” Ogden said during a news conference at the NAC. He announced the project alongside Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), university President Harris Pastides, Director of EOUSA H. Marshall Jarrett and W. Walter Wilkins, U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina.

    Click here for Ogden’s full remarks and here for remarks by Jarrett.

    Thursday, May 28th, 2009

    United States Attorney for the District of Arizona Diane Humetewa will receive the “Women in Federal Law Enforcement Foundation President’s Award,” the Justice Department announced today.

    Humetewa, who became the Arizona U.S. Attorney in December 2007, will receive the highest award given by the Women in Federal Law Enforcement Foundation at a June ceremony in Tucson, Ariz. Joining Humetewa at the event will be Assistant United States Attorneys Tina Sciocchetti of the Northern District of New York and Lisa Jennis Settel of the District of Arizona, who will receive the “2009 Top Prosecutor Award,” the Justice Department said.

    We previously reported that Kristy Parker, a senior attorney in the DOJ Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section, will also receive the top prosecutor honor.

    “All four of these honorees have risen to the top for their dedication and endurance, and we are proud to have them on our team,” Director of the Executive Office for the United States Attorneys H. Marshall Jarrett said in a statement.