News and Press Releases

U.S. Attorney's Office Expands Fight Against Financial Fraud, Public Corruption

U.S. Attorney Names Public Integrity Coordinator and Fraud Deputy Chief

February 2, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, today announced the creation of a new Deputy Chief position for the Fraud Unit within the Alexandria Division and a new Public Integrity Coordinator position for the district.

            “No one can truly feel secure if they don’t have faith in our economy and our government,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Financial crimes have depleted people’s savings and taken away their homes, and holding those criminals accountable is critical to any economic recovery. These new positions are part of a series of steps we are taking over the next few months to make a meaningful impact on the integrity of our government and our financial system.”

Financial Fraud

            In light of the recent economic crisis, prosecuting financial crimes is a high priority for the Department of Justice and for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. With the billions in federal spending being directed at recovery efforts, the potential for fraud is high. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is expanding its fraud unit by hiring three new fraud prosecutors and increasing its ability to prosecute financial fraud, including securities fraud, mortgage fraud, and potential fraud related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) program.

            To help coordinate this effort, MacBride has named Charles Connolly to be the Deputy Chief of the Fraud Unit within the Alexandria Division.

            “Addressing threats to our economic system is an essential part of my Office’s larger security goals,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “I’m grateful we have someone with Chuck’s leadership and broad experience – both in the Justice Department and in private practice – to guide our efforts in tackling some of the most complex and challenging financial crimes we are facing in today’s economy.  ”

            An Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia since 2002, Connolly has served as the office’s corporate fraud and health care fraud coordinator. From 2007 to 2009, Connolly was asked to be a counselor, and later the acting Deputy Chief of Staff, to the U.S. Attorney General, where he advised the nation’s top law enforcement official on legal and political issues involving criminal law, corporate fraud, public corruption, death penalty cases, and congressional oversight. He also served as the Attorney General’s representative to the Corporate Fraud Task Force.

            Before serving in the Justice Department, Connolly practiced with O’Melveny & Myers LLP in Washington, D.C., handling white-collar defense cases including securities enforcement and internal investigations. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Business Law. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Johns Hopkins University.

Public Corruption

            Today MacBride also named Mark Lytle to be the district-wide Public Integrity Coordinator to expand the Office’s ability to investigate and prosecute potential corruption by federal, state and local officials.

            Public corruption has been a focal point of the U.S. Attorney’s office in recent years, with the number of cases filed increasing from 11 in 2005 to 21 in 2009. Covering the capital of Virginia and the residences of many of the nation’s lawmakers, the Eastern District of Virginia must play an integral role in ensuring that those who hold public office live up to the public’s trust.

            “Whenever a public official breaks the law, the crime has a devastating impact on the public’s faith in their government,” U.S. Attorney MacBride said. “As I watched Mark successfully prosecute one of the most prominent public corruption cases in the country, I knew he was the right person to lead the Office’s renewed focus on public integrity.”

            Lytle has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Office since 2004 and recently concluded the successful conviction of former Congressman William J. Jefferson on multiple bribery, racketeering, and money laundering charges. Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he worked as a Trial Attorney in the Criminal Enforcement Section of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, where he received Department honors for his prosecution of white-collar crime, complex tax fraud and securities fraud schemes.

             Lytle also served as a Staff Attorney for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement, prosecuting campaign contribution fraud, insider trading, and complex financial fraud.

            Lytle earned his juris doctorate from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University.



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