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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride Announces Departure From Eastern District Of Virginia

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) Neil H. MacBride, announced today that he is stepping down as United States Attorney, effective midnight September 13, 2013.  An acting United States Attorney will be appointed until a permanent replacement is nominated and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. 

            “It has been a dream job to serve as U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia for the last four years,” said United States Attorney Neil H. MacBride.  “My first job as a lawyer was clerking for Judge Henry Morgan here 21 years ago, and my wife and I have lived and raised our children in this District.  Not only is EDVA home to great symbols of our country – the Pentagon, the CIA, the Norfolk Naval Base - we are also blessed to have the most talented and dedicated prosecutors and professional staff in the Justice Department.  The sacrifice and hard work of my colleagues make our communities safer and I will miss being part of their tireless pursuit of justice.  I am incredibly grateful to the President and Attorney General Holder for the confidence and trust they placed in me and for the experience of leading this great office.”

            “Throughout his tenure as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Neil has worked tirelessly to make a lasting difference for Americans across – and far beyond – his district,” said Attorney General Holder.  “At every turn, he has exemplified the highest standards of excellence, integrity, and professionalism.  He has distinguished himself as an exceptional leader, a committed public servant, and a brilliant attorney – handling complicated cases with extraordinary skill.  Over the many years we have worked together, I’ve always been grateful for Neil’s dedicated service, his personal friendship, and his principled stewardship of our nation’s justice system.  I am certain that his enduring contributions, his many achievements, and his fine example will guide the men and women who serve the Eastern District for years to come.  And I wish him all the best as he takes the next steps in his already remarkable career.”

            Mr. MacBride was appointed by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate, on September 15, 2009, to a four year term.  Under MacBride’s leadership, EDVA has adopted a proactive, strategic approach to prosecuting crime, focused on disrupting local, national and international threats.  From financial fraud to terrorism, MacBride helped position EDVA to meet and confront the challenges of 21st century criminal networks.  As a result, the Eastern District of Virginia currently has cases and investigations in over 60 countries across six continents.  During his tenure as U.S. Attorney, MacBride served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee and chaired its Terrorism and National Security Subcommittee.  MacBride has made detecting and disrupting domestic terrorism a key priority for the office.  During MacBride’s time in office, EDVA prosecutors convicted several high-profile defendants involved in terror plots, including defendant Amine el-Khalifi, who plotted to carry out a suicide bomb attack on the U.S. Capitol, and Farooque Ahmed, who planned to bomb the Washington, D.C. metro rail system.  EDVA prosecutors also secured the first high-seas piracy convictions since 1820 for 26 Somali pirates, including the high-ranking pirate negotiator Mohammed Shibin, who attacked U.S. vessels.  

            U.S. Attorney MacBride also created the Virginia Financial and Securities Fraud Task Force, an unprecedented partnership between criminal investigators and civil regulators to investigate and prosecute complex financial fraud cases in Virginia and across the nation.  Under his leadership, EDVA prosecutors secured fraud convictions for: bank executives that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis; mortgage lenders that contributed to the collapse of one of the 25 largest banks in the United States; stock manipulators; inside traders; contractors that cheated the government and the U.S. military; and life settlement schemers who preyed on the elderly. 

            During his tenure, MacBride dramatically expanded EDVA’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE) program, yielding more than $375 million in civil fraud recoveries against companies and individuals who engaged in procurement, programmatic, health care, and grant fraud.  The recoveries included a $199.5 million settlement with Oracle Corp. – the General Services Administration’s largest single False Claims Act recovery.   Under MacBride’s leadership, EDVA also defended the public fisc and major government programs in a wide array of civil litigation, including in high-profile constitutional, programmatic, employment discrimination and tort lawsuits.  MacBride reinforced EDVA’s commitment to civil rights by partnering with the Civil Rights Division on cases that protected victims of lending discrimination and the severely disabled, and by launching a civil rights initiative focused on protecting the rights of service members and persons with disabilities.    

            Another key priority for MacBride was protecting America’s ingenuity and intellectual property from theft.  Under his leadership, EDVA indicted for alleged intellectual property infringement (valued at $500 million), in one of the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States; and Kolon Industries Inc. for allegedly engaging in a multi-year campaign to steal trade secrets valued at $200 million related to DuPont’s Kevlar technology. Since MacBride’s appointment, EDVA prosecutors have also secured convictions of defendants who operated large-scale counterfeit luxury goods businesses; engaged in music and movie piracy; and imported counterfeit computer equipment.    

            MacBride also carried on EDVA’s tradition of protecting public institutions from corruption.  Since 2009, EDVA prosecutors secured a conviction for illegal conduct and bribery by former U.S. Congressman William J. Jefferson and prevailed on appeal.  Jefferson was sentenced to 13 years in prison, the longest term ever imposed on a United States Congressman.  In addition, prosecutors obtained convictions for former Virginia Secretary of Finance John W. Forbes, II, for wire fraud, and former Virginia House Delegate Phillip A. Hamilton for bribery and extortion. 

            Further, MacBride focused on protecting children from predators.  In the past three years, EDVA has prosecuted 54 defendants for human trafficking, helped 42 juvenile trafficking victims seek justice and secured substantial sentences for traffickers to include 40, 50 year and life sentences.   EDVA prosecutors also dismantled violent and organized criminal enterprises including convictions for leaders of the MS-13 gang; the Underground Crips gang; the “Dump Squad”; Bounty Hunter Bloods; the Nine Tech Gangsters; and the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.  Moreover, prosecutors secured convictions for the leader and members of one of the largest and most violent false document rings in the United States.  EDVA has also become a leader in prosecuting domestic and international drug trafficking operations, breaking up numerous organizations that smuggled cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and other narcotics into the United States. 

            Prior to his time as U.S. Attorney, Neil H. MacBride spent most of his 21-year career as a government attorney, serving in all three branches of government. He served as Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice and as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. MacBride was also the chief counsel for then-Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs.  MacBride served as a law clerk for the Honorable Henry Coke Morgan, Jr., U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia. Apart from his public service, MacBride practiced criminal and civil litigation at the Washington, D.C. law firm now known as DLA Piper and served as Vice President and General Counsel of the Business Software Alliance.  MacBride is a graduate of Houghton College and the University of Virginia School of Law. 

            The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia employs 300 attorneys and professional staff and serves more than six million residents living in Northern Virginia, Richmond and the Tidewater region and surrounding communities.  The District of Virginia was one of the original 13 judicial districts created by the Judiciary Act of 1789. In 1871, Virginia was divided into two districts: the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia. Today, the Eastern District of Virginia has offices in Alexandria, Newport News, Norfolk, and Richmond, the capital of the Commonwealth.

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
Updated March 18, 2015