U.S. Attorney’s Office Issues Annual Report
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Patrick Miles announced to the media today the publication of his office’s annual report on the prior year, dubbed the “Year in Review.” Overcoming notable budgetary challenges in 2013 due to the sequester and lapse in budget appropriations commonly known as the federal government shut-down, U.S. Attorney Miles emphasized that “[t]he mission of serving the public and justice is foremost in the minds and hearts of those working in the U.S. Attorney’s Office.” The report is on the office’s website at www.justice.gov/usao/miw/about/Year_In_Review.pdf.
U.S. Attorney Miles’s report documents his office’s efforts to engage the community, prosecute complex crimes, protect the public, reduce crime and recidivism, and work with local law enforcement to deploy federal resources where they have the most impact. In particular, the report notes the office’s higher than average prosecution of financial crimes, successful child pornography prosecutions, and violent crime reduction strategy. Along with his continued participation in many pre-existing state-wide initiatives, U.S. Attorney Miles met with and spoke to numerous local organizations and representatives during the year, helped launch an Advocates and Leaders for Police and Community Trust (ALPACT) group in Benton Harbor, and organized a Drug Diversion and Addiction Summit along with Barb McQuade, the Eastern District of Michigan U.S. Attorney.
Notable criminal prosecutions included: the conviction after trial and 55 year prison sentence of Gerald Singer for his arson for profit scheme; the health care fraud criminal conviction of Babuhai Rathod and related million-dollar civil settlement, of which $900,000 went to criminal restitution; the conviction of Marcus Thames and others in the so-called “Felony Lane” identity theft ring; and the conviction of Michael Allen for illegally selling Roderick Dantzler the firearm Dantzler later used to murder seven people, including two children, in a 2011 Grand Rapids killing spree.
Among many accomplishments in civil litigation, the office secured a $2 million settlement with LG Chem for its false bills to the Department of Energy related to Recovery Act grant funds to manufacture lithium-ion batteries.
Highlights also included multiple national and local awards. Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) Michael MacDonald and Christopher O’Connor received national recognition in the form of a Director’s Award for their efforts successfully prosecuting Gerald Singer. Kathy Schuette, a Victim-Witness Coordinator, likewise received national recognition for her work in the successful prosecution of Steven Deuman for the murder of his infant daughter. U.S. Attorney Miles personally received a Frederick Douglass award for his service to the Grand Rapids community and a Patriot Award for his hiring of U.S. veterans and supporting Guard and Reserve military service obligations of his employees. Former Interim U.S. Attorney and now retired AUSA Donald Davis received awards for his public service career and for his contributions to the professional development of lawyers in the district.