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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 4, 2015

Attorney General Recognizes Employees of the United States Attorney's Office

Eight lawyers and two paralegals of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan were recognized by the Department of Justice today at the 31st Director's Awards Ceremony in Washington D.C. The ceremony honored 160 members of the Department of Justice. They were recognized by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates and Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys Director Monty Wilkinson. The Eastern District of Michigan was one of 31 districts represented at the ceremony, which was held in the Great Hall at the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building. In her prepared remarks, Attorney General Lynch said that the awardees "have faced daunting and sometimes dangerous challenges. They have dedicated their leadership and their expertise, their time and their energy, to the service of their mission. And they have remained devoted, at all times, to the high ideals and deeply-held values that animate our country and our cause." United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade said, "I am very grateful that these public servants have devoted their talents and careers to serving the people of the Eastern District of Michigan. Every one of them could be earning higher salaries in the private sector, but they choose public service to make a positive impact on our community." Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Beck was recognized for her outstanding management of the Forfeiture and Financial Litigation Unit ("FFLU) for the Eastern District of Michigan. Beck, an Assistant U.S. Attorney for 11 years, has served as chief of the unit for five years. Under her leadership, the work of the FFLU has grown in quantity and complexity, while fostering ever greater cooperation between civil and criminal lawyers, expanding training and re-engineering operations to increase collections. Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie Wizner was recognized for her work on a case with the Civil Division at the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio. Wizner and her team obtained a $200 million settlement to resolve allegations that U.S. Bank violated the False Claims Act by originating and underwriting government-backed loans for residential mortgages without complying with legal requirements. When many of the borrowers were unable to repay the loans, the federal government became responsible for the loss and the homes went into foreclosure. Wizner and her team recovered these funds for taxpayers and the home loan program. The team that investigated and prosecuted former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was recognized for outstanding work by a litigation team. The team included Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Chutkow, Michael Bullotta, Linda Aouate, Jennifer Blackwell, Eric Doeh and Andrew Goetz. Also recognized were paralegals Ana Bruni and Anna Facchini, and special agents Bob Beeckman of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Carol Paszkiewicz of the Environmental Protection Agency Office of Inspector General and Ronald Sauer and Rowena Schuch of the Internal a Revenue Service Criminal Investigations. The team was recognized for its investigation and prosecution of Kilpatrick and members of his administration. The prosecution team uncovered and dismantled a wide-ranging "pay to play" network of corruption within the highest levels of city government, convicting 35 public and business officials of felony offenses, including the former mayor of Detroit, his chief administrative officer, the deputy mayor, business people and consultants. EOUSA provides oversight, general executive assistance, and direction to the 94 United States Attorneys' offices around the country. For more information on EOUSA and its mission, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao
Updated June 4, 2015