AUSAs new to the Criminal Division, including those hired for the Riverside and Santa Ana branch offices, are initially assigned to the General Crimes section, where they receive training in the handling of federal criminal investigations and prosecutions. Under close supervision by more senior AUSAs responsible for training, new AUSAs initially are assigned to a wide range of felony cases, handling guilty pleas, suppression motions, jury trials, sentencings, appeals, and probation violations.
The goal of the General Crimes Section is to develop well-trained AUSAs who can handle a wide range of court proceedings, with a focus on developing trial skills. During their tenure in the General Crimes Section, AUSAs also handle pre-indictment work on felony cases, including assisting investigating agents by preparing arrest warrants, search warrants, complaints, and grand jury subpoenas; appearing before Magistrate Judges on initial appearances of arrested defendants, bail hearings; and conducting grand jury proceedings in the cases for which they are responsible. With the assistance of more senior AUSAs, each case that reaches the indictment stage is carefully screened to ensure that there is sufficient evidence and that the case warrants federal prosecution.
Upon completion of their tenure in the General Crimes Section, AUSAs hired for the branch offices are transitioned to those offices, and AUSAs remaining in Los Angeles are assigned to one of the Criminal Division’s senior sections. Assignments to the senior sections are based primarily on the USAO’s staffing needs at the time. The senior sections in the Los Angeles Office are: Asset Forfeiture; Criminal Appeals; Public Corruption and Civil Rights; Major Frauds; International Narcotics, Money Laundering, & Racketeering Section; Environmental and Community Safety Crimes Section; and Violent and Organized Crime.
Allison Westfahl Kong
Assistant United States Attorney Allison Westfahl Kong joined the office through the Attorney General’s Honors Program in 2012, after clerking for Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the Southern District of New York and Judge Robert A. Katzmann of the Second Circuit.
Ms. Westfahl Kong joined the Criminal Appeals Section in 2014, where she argued 10 cases before the Ninth Circuit; in addition, she successfully defended on appeal the convictions of 10 members of the Florencia-13 gang who were convicted of racketeering, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, drug trafficking, money laundering, and/or firearm offenses, following a four-month jury trial.
From July 2016 through June 2017, Ms. Westfahl Kong was on detail to the Department of Justice’s Fraud Section in Washington, D.C., where she conducted complex Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations, including an investigation into the corrupt hiring practices of Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) Limited that resulted in a $47 million criminal penalty.
From July 2017 through July 2019, Ms. Westfahl Kong served as a Deputy Chief in the General Crimes Section. While serving as a Deputy Chief in General Crimes, she prosecuted at trial the lead defendant in United States v. Armstrong, which resulted in guilty verdicts on all 51 counts of conspiracy, bank fraud, money laundering, access device fraud, aggravated identity theft, and interstate transportation of stolen cars.
Ms. Westfahl Kong graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a degree in mathematics and government, and graduated magna cum laude from New York University School of Law, where she served as the Senior Articles Editor of the Law Review.
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Section Contact Information
The United States Attorney's Office
Central District of California
Attn: General Crimes Section
312 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90012