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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


OCTOBER 9, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


U.S. ATTORNEY CREATES NEW SECURITIES FRAUD POSITION


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that he has created the position of Securities Fraud Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Wood has appointed Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Nelson to serve in this position.


            Wood created the Securities Fraud Coordinator position as part of a larger effort to enhance the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s ability to prosecute corporate fraud and other white-collar crimes. Upon becoming U.S. Attorney in 2007, Wood created the Fraud & Corruption Unit within the office in order to have a unit specifically focused on white-collar crime. The creation of that unit has already led to important prosecutions, including the largest corporate fraud investigation in the history of the district, resulting in guilty pleas from the former Chief Executive Officer and former Chief Financial Officer of the American-Italian Pasta Company and a $7.5 million fine for the company itself for accounting fraud and other crimes.


             Wood noted that the creation of the Securities Fraud position reflects an increased emphasis on the integrity of financial markets during a time of great volatility. “This new position will further enhance our ability to focus specifically on the integrity of financial markets,” Wood said.The recent upheavals in financial markets are an important reminder of the critical role that the Department of Justice plays in ensuring the integrity of those markets.”


             Wood emphasized that the Department of Justice has been active in prosecuting corporate and securities fraud and that the national Corporate Fraud Task Force has a long list of impressive accomplishments. “Our office plays an important role as well,” Wood added, citing the recent convictions in the American-Italian Pasta Company investigation. “Our efforts are particularly important because our district is home to several financial institutions and a Board of Trade.”


            In this new position, Nelson will be the principal securities fraud contact for federal law enforcement agencies, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the CFTC, FINRA, the Kansas City Board of Trade, and other organizations. He will also serve as the district’s representative on the Justice Department’s Securities & Commodities Fraud Working Group.


             Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Nelson worked on securities cases at one of the Nation’s leading law firms. He was also a key member of the team that investigated the American-Italian Pasta Company. “I am grateful that Dan has taken on this important responsibility,” Wood said. “He has proven his ability to handle these complex cases through his experience in both private practice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.” In addition to assuming this new position, Nelson will continue to serve as Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney.

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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