News and Press Releases

Eastern District of Virginia Staff Recognized by Attorney General Holder for Jefferson Prosecution

October , 2012

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder recognized 282 department employees for their distinguished public service today at the 60th Annual Attorney General’s Awards Ceremony.  Fifty-seven other individuals outside of the department are also honored for their work.  Held at DAR Constitution Hall, this annual ceremony recognizes both department employees and others for their outstanding dedication to carrying out the Department of Justice’s missions. 

This year, prosecutors and staff from the Eastern District of Virginia were awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in connection with the prosecution of former Congressman William J. Jefferson.

“This year’s award recipients have made significant contributions across, and far beyond, the Department of Justice and helped to protect the rights, safety and best interests of the citizens we are privileged to serve,” Attorney General Holder said.  “I am grateful for the dedication and passion that these extraordinary public servants bring to their work, and I am honored to count them as colleagues.”

            “Today’s award is a tribute to the tremendous work of the FBI, its investigative partners, and the prosecutors who spent six years on this case,” said U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Mr. Jefferson’s conviction and lengthy prison term would never have been possible without their sacrifice and dedication in compiling the evidence and prosecuting this case. Their success sent a clear signal that no one – including our elected officials – are above the law and bribery is not just another cost of doing business in government.”

The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is the Justice Department’s second highest award for employee performance.  The recipients of this award exemplify the highest commitment to the department’s mission.  Fourteen Distinguished Service Awards were presented this year to individuals or teams of people, including the team members who provided exceptional contributions in connection with the landmark investigation and prosecution of former Congressman William J. Jefferson and his co-conspirators.  The investigation, which commenced in March 2005 while Jefferson was a sitting member of the U.S. House of Representatives, culminated in the prosecution and conviction of Jefferson for bribery, honest services fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) violations.  In November 2009, Jefferson was sentenced to 13 years in prison, the longest sentence ever imposed for a current or former member of Congress.

Award recipients include, from the Eastern District of Virginia, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jack Hanly, Rebeca Bellows and Mark D. Lytle; Paralegal Crystal Griego; and Technical Assistant Jermaine M. Ragin; from the District of Columbia’s Appellate Division, Chief Roy W. McLeese III; from the District of Columbia, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael K. Atkinson and David B. Goodhand; from the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, Deputy Chief Charles E. Duross and Trial Attorney Amanda Aikman (former); from the Criminal Division’s Appellate Section, Trial Attorney Stephan E. Oestreicher Jr.; from the FBI, Special Agents John Longmire and Timothy R. Thibault; from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Special Agents Edward S. Cooper (retired) and Daniel T. Gallagher (retired).

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on


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