Sandra R. Brown
Acting United States Attorney Sandra R. Brown is the chief federal law enforcement officer in the Central District of California, a sprawling district based in Los Angeles that encompasses seven counties. Ms. Brown oversees the largest United States Attorney’s Office outside of the District of Columbia, an office that employs approximately 270 attorneys who serve more than 19 million residents. The United States Attorney’s Office prosecutes the entire range of federal criminal offenses, defends the United States in civil actions, and represents government interests in tax matters.
Ms. Brown obtained her B.S. in Business Administration from Central Michigan University, her J.D. from Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School, and her LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Denver. She joined the Office in 1991 and became the first Criminal Deputy Chief of the Tax Division in 2003. She was appointed Chief of the Tax Division in 2004 and served until her appointment as First Assistant United States Attorney in 2016.
During Ms. Brown’s tenure as an AUSA she represented the government in a wide range of matters, including federal and state civil, criminal, appellate and bankruptcy tax matters, as well as defending Bivens actions involving IRS officials. Her civil tax cases have twice gone to the Supreme Court (Brockamp v. United States, 519 U.S. 347 (1997) and Williams v. United States, 514 U.S. 527 (1995)). She has also personally prosecuted a broad range of equally noteworthy criminal tax cases, including George Jesson, the founder of "We the People Foundation for Constitutional Education”; John McCarthy, the first UBS related FBAR prosecution in California, which attracted more than 2,000 worldwide media reports; and Gene Haas, the owner of two NASCAR teams and Haas Automation, Inc., the 7th largest employer in Ventura County, California, which resulted in one of the largest individual tax assessments fully recovered in a criminal tax case ever prosecuted in this nation. Ms. Brown’s successful handling of a Bivens action (Andersen v. United States, 298 F.3d 803 (9th Cir. 2002)), is cited in Rutter, California Practice Guide, 9th Cir. Appellate Practice as well as Federal Appellate Practice Guide 9th Circuit, making clear that one cannot use a civil injunction action to interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation, even where First Amendment claims may be present.
Ms. Brown has been nominated for Attorney General’s awards three times and has been awarded both the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Chief’s Award (the highest recognition given by the IRS to a non-IRS employee) and the IRS’s Mitchell Rogovin National Outstanding Support of the Office of Chief Counsel Award (which recognizes DOJ attorneys for superior abilities to provide support to the Office of Chief Counsel and significant contributions to agency-wide and interagency work). She is the author of the following well-regarded articles: “FBAR Violations: The IRS’s New Tool For Improved Tax Compliance” (published by CCH in its Dec 2008-Jan 2009 issue of Journal of Tax Practice & Procedure); “Appearing for the United States of America” (featured in the 2009 edition of the ABA's publication of Careers in Tax Law); and Key Things To Know In Prosecuting Criminal Tax Cases: A View From the U.S. Attorney’s Office (which appeared in the March 2013 edition of the United States Attorneys’ Bulletin).
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