WASHINGTON – Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer today recognized current and former Criminal Division employees and others for their outstanding achievements in public service at the Annual Criminal Division Awards Ceremony.
“The dedicated public servants we are recognizing today have each made significant achievements in furthering the mission of the Justice Department,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “They have worked tirelessly to help protect our communities and keep our nation safe. We are grateful for their extraordinary contributions to the department and to the country.”
Assistant Attorney General Breuer presented the Henry E. Petersen Memorial Award to former chief of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS), Michael M. DuBose. The Petersen Award is the highest award given by the Criminal Division. It recognizes exceptional service by an individual who has made a lasting contribution to the division. The award honors the memory of Henry Petersen – Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division during the Watergate era and a former chief of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section in the 1960s.
Mr. DuBose served for more than 20 years in the federal government. He has held numerous positions throughout the Justice Department and the Criminal Division. Most recently, he served as a deputy chief and chief of CCIPS. His leadership in intellectual property (IP) led to an 800 percent increase in IP prosecutions over a four-year period. Mr. DuBose oversaw numerous important prosecutions, including the prosecution of Albert Gonzalez, the leader of the largest credit card data breach in history. Mr. DuBose improved the department’s efforts on computer forensics and collection of electronic evidence, helping to develop CCIPS’s Cybercrime Laboratory into an internationally respected and renowned resource for prosecutors. Mr. DuBose retired from the Department of Justice in the fall of 2011.
Assistant Attorney General Breuer presented the John C. Keeney Award for Exceptional Integrity and Professionalism to Paul O’Brien, director of the Criminal Division’s Office of Enforcement Operations. John C. Keeney served in the Department of Justice for nearly 60 years, under 12 U.S. presidents and 23 attorneys general, retiring in September 2010 as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division. The John C. Keeney Award recognizes an employee who has demonstrated outstanding professionalism and integrity over a sustained period of time or an employee who has displayed extraordinary strength of character in a unique situation, as Mr. Keeney displayed during his years of service to the federal government.
Mr. O’Brien joined the department as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee in 1995, following his service in the U.S. Marine Corps, and has since served the department in several capacities. He has supervised and prosecuted complex narcotics and money laundering cases, as well as fraud, corruption, child pornography, firearms, counterfeiting and immigration offenses. In February 2010, Mr. O’Brien was appointed to the position of director of the Office of Enforcement Operations in the Criminal Division.
The Mark M. Richard Memorial Award was presented to Kenneth Harris, associate director of the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs. The award was created in memory of Mark M. Richard, who served the Criminal Division from 1967 to 2007, and is given to a Criminal Division employee in recognition of extraordinary vision and leadership in fighting international crime. Mr. Richard saw the crucial importance of making law enforcement a central part of our foreign policy.
Mr. Harris received this award for his work in improving international cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism. Over the last 15 years, he has played a critical role in negotiating many of the most significant law enforcement treaties and agreements to which the United States is a party.
Assistant Attorney General Breuer also presented the Assistant Attorney General’s Awards to multiple recipients in recognition of individual and group performance in fulfilling the Criminal Division’s mission, priorities and management goals.
The Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service was presented to Hank Walther, Benton Curtis, Sam Sheldon and Benjamin Singer of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section for their extraordinary efforts in leading the investigation and prosecution of Medicare fraud in Medicare Fraud Strike Force cities across the country. This team oversaw the two largest health care fraud takedowns in the United States and the prosecution of more than 300 defendants this fiscal year. They were responsible for expanding the strike force from seven to nine cities this year and supervising a team of approximately 20 prosecutors.
The second Exceptional Service award was presented to the group responsible for the successful investigation and prosecution of Lee Bentley Farkas: Patrick Stokes, Robert Zink, Charles Reed, Brigham Cannon and Jennifer Gindin of Criminal Division’s Fraud Section; Jeannette Gunderson of the Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section; Charles Connolly, Paul Nathanson and Lisa Porter of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia; Aileen Hudgins, Ed Slagle and Chasity Gatson of the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program; Peter Emerzian, Paul Conlon and Kari Meyer of the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Federal Housing Finance Agency; John Crawford and Lance Endy of the Office of the Inspector General for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; David Mosakowski, Timothy Mowery and Keith Williams of the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and Scott Turner, John Gardner and Katherine Alfaro of the FBI.
The Farkas case is one of the most significant criminal prosecutions brought in the wake of the financial crisis. It involved the sale of billions of dollars in fake mortgage loan assets, causing approximately $3.5 billion in aggregate losses to a variety of institutional and individual victims. After a 10-day jury trial, Farkas was convicted of 14 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud and securities fraud. Farkas was sentenced to 30 years in prison, ordered to forfeit more than $35 million and ordered to pay restitution to victims totaling approximately $3.5 billion. Six co-conspirators were also convicted and sentenced to prison for their roles in the scheme.
The final Exceptional Service award was presented to Mark Anthony Maldonado and Marlon Cobar of the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section for their extraordinary work in establishing a groundbreaking program and associated initiatives to address the security threat posed by the major Mexican drug cartels. These two attorneys worked with the Mexican government to establish fully vetted and trained investigative teams of Mexican law enforcement agents and prosecutors to work closely with Justice Department prosecutors and U.S. federal law enforcement. These accomplishments are part of the Criminal Division’s efforts to increase cooperation with our Mexican partners and enhance their law enforcement capacity.
The Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service was presented to Kirby Heller and Deborah Watson of the Criminal Division’s Appellate Section for their exceptional work in the successful appeal of sanctions imposed upon federal prosecutors in the case of Dr. Ali Shaygan.
The Award for Distinguished Service was also presented to Andrea Sharrin, Christopher Merriam, Jason Gull and John Zacharia of the Criminal Division’s CCIPS for their work on developing critical law enforcement tools for combating intellectual property crime. Through a combined program of legislative drafting and education, and highly skilled inter- and intra-agency efforts, this team helped ensure that law enforcement’s ability to adequately address intellectual property crime is both appropriately preserved and enhanced.
Another Award for Distinguished Service was presented to t he core team of U.S.-based prosecutors, special agents, computer forensic specialists and intelligence analysts responsible for the transnational enforcement operation targeting an online child pornography bulletin board entitled “Lost Boy.” The recipients include: James Fottrell, Johnathan Bridbord , Richard Kaplan , Andrew McCormack and James Silver of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS); Adrienne Mitchell, Catherine Connell , David Brassanini , Steven Garrard, Mark Zimmerman, Michael Osborn and Monique Bueno of the FBI; Brian Bone of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Joey Blanch and Yvonne Garcia of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
The members of the Lost Boy bulletin board and the individuals with whom they associated are responsible for the sexual exploitation of more than 200 children around the world. Prior to the Lost Boy investigation, most of these individuals had never been arrested. As a result of the investigation , child sex offenders throughout the world are in custody and no longer pose a danger to children. Many of the child victims have been identified and rescued, and the enterprise that facilitated their abuse and victimization has been dismantled.
The Distinguished Service Award also was presented to the team responsible for the prosecution of three Pakistani citizens who pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. Recipients include: William Ho-Gonzalez and Stephen Curran of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section; Lolita Lukose of the National Security Division; John Han and Anthony Asuncion of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia; Heather Hodges, the former U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador; Gabriel Garcia, Cesar Cabrera, William Hunter and Francisco Estupinan of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Quito, Ecuador; Anthony Ruffule, Jeffrey Klinko and Sir Streeter of ICE Atlanta; Mohammad Yousaf of ICE Islamabad; Daniel Johns, Joel Dugan, Courtney Scharn, Shedrick Curry and Laura Garcia of the FBI; Shawn Bray, Kevin Smith, Emily Genung and Kathleen O’Connell of INTERPOL; Magdalena Boynton of the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs; and Jeannette Arocho of ICE U.S. Southern Command. The investigation led to the arrest of the three Pakistani citizens after they agreed to and took steps to help smuggle a person they believed to be a Pakistani Taliban member into the United States.
Another Award for Distinguished Service was presented to Michelle Swaney, Jennifer Hodge and Michelle Hill of the Criminal Division’s Office of Enforcement Operations for their exceptional efforts in modernizing and improving the operations of the Electronic Surveillance Unit. This unit reviews requests from U.S. attorneys’ offices for approval to seek court orders to conduct wiretaps in major federal investigations. This management team decreased Title III review turnaround time, increased the quality and consistency of the Title III review process and improved training and communication with the field.
The Award for Distinguished Service was also presented to Charles Bennett Jr., of the Criminal Division’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP), for advancing and sustaining an effective working partnership with host nation law enforcement officials, and expanding ICITAP’s scope of development activities in Pakistan. Mr. Bennett worked closely with Pakistan officials to help build their law enforcement capacity to combat crime and terrorism.
The final Distinguished Service Award was presented to Cody Skipper of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Van Vincent of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Tennessee for their exceptional work in an 11-defendant racketeering and firearms case involving the national street gang known as the Traveling Vice Lords. Mr. Skipper and Mr. Vincent led a team of local and federal law enforcement officers who worked seamlessly together and obtained convictions for all of the racketeering counts, including those involving murders and attempted murders, triggering life sentences for three defendants.
Assistant Attorney General Breuer presented the Excellence in Management Award to Kevin Carwile, chief of the Criminal Division’s Capital Case Unit (CCU), and Todd Simpson, the director of the Information Technology (IT) staff in the Criminal Division’s Office of Administration. The award recognizes individuals in the division who exhibit innovative thinking, business acumen and proven leadership in administration and management.
Under Mr. Carwile’s leadership, CCU trial attorneys now prosecute capital cases in courts throughout the nation against the most violent criminals involved in truly heinous crimes. Today, CCU trial attorneys are involved in some capacity in more than 80 percent of the cases in which the attorney general has directed the department to seek the death penalty. These cases are among the most challenging the department litigates given the crimes at issue and the complexities of the capital process.
Mr. Simpson is recognized for the remarkable progress and unprecedented changes he has brought to the Criminal Division. He has implemented many efficiencies in the division’s IT system, including remote connectivity, web hosting, efficient use of the network operations center, Blackberry service improvements and overall system stability. His contributions include saving the division more than $5 million.
Assistant Attorney General Breuer presented the Award for Outstanding Contributions by a New Employee to Jennifer Saulino in the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. The newly established award recognizes the outstanding contributions of a new employee with fewer than five years of service to the Criminal Division.
Ms. Saulino joined the division’s Fraud Section in January 2010. Her efforts greatly contributed to the success of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. She investigated and prosecuted more than 20 defendants in connection with the American Therapeutic Corporation case, a $200 million community mental health care case; tried three criminal health care fraud cases; and obtained three of the largest health care fraud prison sentences in United States’ history.
The Lois B. Bundy Exceptional Service Award for Administrative Support was presented to Danny Foster of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. This award recognizes a present or former non-attorney employee whose administrative support has made a lasting contribution to the Criminal Division by best exemplifying the commitment, dedication, interpersonal skills, sensitivity, keen judgment and enthusiasm that Ms. Bundy displayed during her distinguished 34 years of service in the Criminal Division.
Mr. Foster has been a critical member of the Public Integrity Section team for more than 12 years. He is relied upon for everything related to administration in the section, and he is integral to the success of the Public Integrity Section’s mission. Mr. Foster provides invaluable support to the Section, working nights, weekends, holidays and anytime that the attorneys need help.
ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Attaché Gabriel Garcia was also recognized with a Certification of Appreciation for his invaluable contributions to the Extraterritorial Criminal Travel Strike Force program, a joint partnership between the Criminal Division and ICE HSI. Mr. Garcia was one of the primary architects in the establishment and development of the program and has overseen significant disruptions and dismantlement of human smuggling networks.