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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD



Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html



JUNE 26, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PORTER APPOINTED AS CHIEF OF

FRAUD AND CORRUPTION UNIT


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that Senior Litigation Counsel Gene Porter has been appointed the chief of the Fraud and Corruption Unit.


            “Gene is one of our most talented and experienced prosecutors, particularly in the increasingly sophisticated and complex fraud and corruption cases.” Wood said. “I have every confidence in his commitment to protect and serve the people in the Western District. I am deeply honored and grateful that Gene has accepted this important responsibility.”


            Porter’s appointment is the latest move in an office-wide reorganization announced by Wood on June 1, 2007. As a result of that reorganization, three new specialized units were created to complement Wood’s prosecution priorities. The Fraud and Corruption Unit was created to specifically focus on the types of complex fraud, corruption, and financial crimes that the federal government is uniquely qualified to handle.


            “The Fraud and Corruption Unit includes many of the most experienced white collar prosecutors in our office,” Wood said. “This unit focuses on cases that best utilize the federal government’s resources and expertise.”


            Porter will continue to head “Project Horizon,” a special emphasis committee created by Wood to examine and address the changing nature of modern crime. “It is imperative that we continue to improve our law enforcement and prosecution techniques to combat the evolving nature of crime in the 21st Century,” Wood said.


            The unit chiefs for the other two new units – the Terrorism and National Security Unit and the Violent Crime Strike Force Unit – were announced on June 1, 2007. With Porter’s appointment, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will consist of the following units: (1) Terrorism and National Security, headed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan Garrett; (2) Violent Crime StrikeForce, headed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Becker (3) Fraud and Corruption, headed by Porter; (4) Computer Crimes and Child Exploitation, headed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Valenti; and (5) Narcotics, headed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg Coonrod.


            The five units under the new structure are consistent with the five priorities that Wood identified when he assumed office: terrorism, violent crime, fraud and corruption, child exploitation, and methamphetamine. The Appellate Unit continues to work with each of the five Criminal Division units.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html