You are here

Criminal Division

Criminal Chief Denise S. Wolf leads the criminal division, assisted by Deputy Criminal Chief of White Collar Crime Ronald Sarachan, and Deputy Criminal Chief of Narcotics & Violent Crime Michelle Morgan.

The criminal division is divided into nine units, each of which is led by a Chief and Deputy Chief who maintain expertise in these areas and maintain relationships with the investigative agencies in their subject matter. The units are:

  • National Security and Cyber Crime
  • Economic Crimes 
  • Health Care and Government Fraud
  • Violent Crime
  • General Crimes
  • Narcotics and Organized Crime
  • Corruption, Tax Fraud, and Civil Rights
  • Appeals
  • Asset Recovery and Financial Litigation

The criminal division consists of 103 Assistant United States Attorneys, as well as Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys assigned from other federal agencies and local prosecutors' offices to handle firearms offenses and other matters.

National Security and Cyber Crime

The National Security and Cybercrime Unit investigates and prosecutes the following matters:

  • International and domestic terrorism threats and attacks
  • Hoax terrorism threats
  • Espionage and mishandling of classified information
  • The unlicensed export of military articles and other technology to foreign countries
  • Computer intrusions and denial of service attacks
  • Cyberstalking
  • Theft of Intellectual Property

This Unit also directs the state, federal, and local Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).  

Reports about crimes of this nature should be made to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (215-418-4000) or to a local police department.

Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Perricone is Chief of the National Security and Cybercrime Unit, and Assistant United States Attorney Christine Sykes is Deputy Chief of the Unit.

Economic Crime

The Economic Crimes Unit is responsible for prosecuting a broad spectrum of financial frauds and schemes, including:

  • Consumer frauds such as telemarketing fraud, sweepstakes and premiums fraud, fraud by businesses against customers
  • Securities fraud such as embezzlement by brokers, insider trading, and false statements or promises to investors
  • Investment fraud (in investments other than securities, stocks and bonds) including franchise fraud, business investments and fictitious charity solicitations
  • Copyright, trademark, and trade secret fraud
  • Insurance fraud such as fictitious accidents, false medical claims, and fraud by insurance companies against policy holders
  • Bankruptcy fraud such as diversion of assets by trustees or debtors and false statements to the bankruptcy court
  • Commercial fraud such as fraud against businesses and large thefts of funds by corporate insiders

The following agencies investigate financial fraud:

  1. Bank Fraud - Major bank fraud matters include check kites, false loans, embezzlement and misapplication of bank funds by insiders, counterfeit, stolen and forged checks.
    Federal Agencies:
    FBI 215-418-4000
    U.S. Secret Service 215-861-3300
    Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) 202-416-2912
  2. Credit Card Fraud - FBI / U.S. Secret Service / U.S. Postal Inspection Service 215-895-8450
  3. Counterfeit Currency - U.S. Secret Service
  4. Food Stamp Fraud - Department of Agriculture 610-337-2237
  5. Money Laundering - FBI / U.S. Secret Service / ICE 215-717-4800 / U.S. Postal Inspection Service
  6. Immigration and Passport Fraud - BCBP 215-597-4606 / State Department 215-861-3370
  7. Communications Fraud - U.S. Secret Service
  8. Identity Theft - FBI / U.S. Secret Service / U.S. Postal / Social Security I.G.  For more information about Identity Theft, go to the following link:  Identity Theft

In addition to laws prohibiting specific unlawful activity, broad federal statutes protect against fraud, making any fraudulent scheme a federal crime if the United States mail or a courier service is used in its commission, or if interstate wire transfers, telephone calls, fax transmissions, e-mails or other interstate communications are used in the fraud.

Assistant United States Attorney Michael Donovan is Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit, and Assistant United States Attorney Michael Rinaldi is Deputy Chief of the Unit.

Health Care and Government Fraud

The Government Fraud, Health Care Fraud, and Environmental Crimes Unit oversees federal criminal prosecutions of offenses such as:

  • Major health care fraud matters involving false billings and other schemes that victimize patients, the Food and Drug Administration, health care providers, private insurers, and government insurers such as Medicare and Medicaid
  • Frauds committed against agencies of the Department of Defense, or other government buyers, by suppliers of materials in fulfillment of government contracts
  • Thefts and frauds involving government programs, including workmen's compensation, social security, housing, and similar programs administered by other government agencies
  • Fraudulent violations of Food and Drug Administration and United States Department of Agriculture laws prohibiting the sale of misbranded and adulterated drugs and foods
  • Crimes against the United States Postal Service, including thefts, embezzlements and threats against postal employees

In appropriate cases involving health care fraud and fraud on government agencies, the criminal division coordinates with the office's Affirmative Civil Enforcement Program.

In addition, the FBI, 215-418-4000, or the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, 215-861-4586, may be contacted.

Assistant United States Attorney David E. Troyer is Chief of the Government and Health Care Fraud Unit, and Assistant United States Attorney Mary Beth Leahy is Deputy Chief of the Unit.

Violent Crime

The Violent Crime and Firearms Section investigates crimes which jeopardize public safety. It prosecutes violations of federal laws in the following subject matters:

  • Unlicensed sale of firearms, ammunition and explosives
  • Unlawful possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives
  • False statements in the acquisition of firearms, ammunition and explosives
  • Possession or use of firearms or explosives in connection with the commission of federal crimes of violence or drug trafficking
  • Robbery of commercial establishments
  • Bank robbery
  • Carjacking
  • Kidnapping
  • Arson of commercial establishments
  • Threats
  • Escape from federal custody

The cases in this area are typically investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the FBI.

Allegations about crimes in this section should be made to a local police department if there is an immediate threat to public safety or to ATF at 215-446-7800.

Assistant United States Attorney Salvatore Astolfi is Chief of the Violent Crime Unit, and Assistant United States Attorney Jeanine Linehan is Deputy Chief of the Unit

General Crimes

Our newest Assistant United States Attorneys in the Criminal Division work within the General Crimes Section, which investigates and prosecutes a high volume of simpler federal criminal cases.  This Unit works with investigators from a wide range of federal agencies.

Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Rotella is Chief of the General Crimes Unit.

Narcotics and Organized Crime

The responsibility in the U.S. Attorney's Office for dealing with both traditional and certain non-traditional organized criminal groups and illegal drug prosecutions is assigned to the Narcotics, OCDETF (Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force), and Organized Crime Unit.  This unit prosecutes violations of federal narcotics laws including the illegal trafficking of cocaine, crack, heroin, methamphetamine and other controlled substances. Federal prosecutions focus in particular on the importation of illegal narcotics, interstate, large-scale or organized drug trafficking, or individuals or groups that use violence in the course of drug dealing. State and local authorities, such as the Philadelphia Police Department and the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, prosecute the vast majority of narcotics offenders. This office focuses its efforts on international, interstate and organized drug offenders, coordinating its efforts with the state and local authorities. The United States Attorney's Office also prosecutes cases involving the diversion of prescription drugs for illegal sale.

Criminal prosecutions brought by this office are most often investigated by one of the following federal agencies, frequently acting together with state and local authorities:

  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) 215-861-3474
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) 215-418-4000
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 215-717-4800
  • United States Postal Inspection Service (USPS) 215-895-8450
  • The Philadelphia Police Department drug hotline 215-686-3784

This team also has the responsibility for coordinating federal investigations and prosecutions in cases related to, and involving, the following criminal organizations:  1) La Cosa Nostra; 2) Eastern European/Russian organized crime groups; 3) Asian organized crime groups; and 4) criminal organizations orginating in Italy, including the Sicilian Mafia, the Camorra, and the N'drangheta.  The unit also handles "special circumstance" investigations, as well as matters involving human trafficking and outlaw motorcycle gangs.

Assistant United States Attorney Karen Marston is Chief of the Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit, and Assistant United States Attorney Jerome Maiatico is Deputy Chief of the Unit.  The staffing is augmented occasionally by Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys from local, state and federal agencies.  This underscores the advantage of cooperative law enforcement when investigating and prosecuting organized crime groups.

Corruption, Tax Fraud and Civil Rights

The Corruption, Tax Fraud and Civil Rights Unit handles the following matters:

  • Major public official corruption involving local, state and federal officials, including bribery, kickbacks and extortion
  • Police corruption
  • Tax offenses and crimes that undermine the integrity of the Internal Revenue Service and its programs, including IRS employee theft and robbery
  • Corruption, theft and racketeering by labor leaders and pension fund administrators/trustees
  • The interstate theft/transportation of goods and operations involving automobile theft/replating or chop shops
  • The unlicensed export of military articles of high technology to foreign governments
  • Civil Rights Violations

Assistant United States Attorney Richard Barrett is Chief of the Corruption, Tax Fraud and Civil Rights Unit, and Assistant United States Attorney Faithe Moore Taylor is Deputy Chief of the Unit.

 

Appeals

The Appeals Unit is responsible for overseeing all litigation involving the Criminal Division in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. This includes defending appeals presented by criminal defendants, and litigating a much smaller number of appeals by the government as permitted by law. The attorneys in the Appeals section also provide legal guidance to all attorneys in the Criminal Division regarding legal developments and in particular cases.

Assistant United States Attorney Robert A. Zauzmer is the Chief of the Appeals Unit.

 

 Asset Recovery and Financial Litigation Unit

The Asset Recovery and Financial Litigation Unit is responsible for the prosecution of asset forfeiture cases and the collection of criminal and civil debts, fines, and penalties on behalf of victims of crime and the United States.  It also provides assistance to crime victims and witnesses.  The Asset Recovery and Financial Litigation Unit:

  • Investigates, prosecutes, and provides legal guidance regarding civil and criminal asset forfeiture.
  • Investigates, prosecutes, and pursues the collection of restitution on behalf of victims of crime and the collection of debts, fines, and penalties imposed in criminal and civil cases in the office.
  • Assists with services to crime victims and witnesses, including crime victim compensation, emergency witness relocation, social services and counseling referral, victim notification, and witness travel.

Assistant United States Attorney Sarah Grieb is the Chief of the Asset Recovery and Financial Litigation Unit, and Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Minni is the Deputy Chief of the Unit.

 

Updated September 10, 2018

Was this page helpful?

Was this page helpful?
Yes No