First Assistant U.S. Attorney
W. Anders Folk
W. Anders Folk has served as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota since August 2018. As First Assistant, Mr. Folk oversees all daily operations of the Criminal, Civil, Appellate, and Administrative Divisions. Before his appointment as First Assistant, Mr. Folk was a partner at the Stinson law firm in Minneapolis. Prior to his work in the private sector, Mr. Folk was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota and a judge advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps. Mr. Folk attended the University of Minnesota Law School and the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts.
The Criminal Division serves as the prosecutorial arm of the U.S. Department of Justice in the District of Minnesota. The Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Criminal Division prosecute violations of federal criminal law. To accomplish that task, the lawyers, along with paralegals, legal assistants and others, work closely with grand juries as well as local, state, and federal investigative agencies.
The Criminal Division is divided into four sections: Economic Crimes, National Security, Major Crimes, and OCDETF and Violent Crimes.
The Civil Division serves to represent the United States in both affirmative and defensive civil actions in federal and state court. Affirmative litigation includes enforcing federal environmental, fair housing, and civil rights laws as well as suing corporations and individuals for civil fraud, including health care fraud, agricultural program fraud, and federal procurement fraud. Defensive litigation includes Federal Tort Claims Act cases, employment discrimination lawsuits, immigration litigation, constitutional torts filed against federal officials, and defending challenges regarding the constitutionality of federal statutes.
The Civil Division also represents the interests of the United States in bankruptcy proceedings, mortgage foreclosures, land condemnations, and commitment actions against mentally ill and dangerous federal inmates. In addition, the Division includes the Asset Forfeiture Unit, which works to forfeit property used in the commission of a crime or held by defendants as proceeds of criminal activity. The Civil Division is also home to the Financial Litigation Unit, which seeks collection of criminal fines and restitution, civil penalties, and defaulted government loans, including federally insured student loans.
The Appellate Division monitors the work done by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in both criminal and civil appeals. Many guilty verdicts and sentences from both trials and plea agreements are appealed to the Circuit Court. Because comparatively few cases are heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Office's work in the Eighth Circuit is very important, as the Eighth Circuit decides the law for this district and districts in six other states as well.
The Division is responsible for reviewing all appellate court briefs, writing some briefs, and overseeing moot court, which prepares Assistant U.S. Attorneys for oral arguments before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Appellate Division is also responsible for informing the lawyers in the Office of new developments in the law.
The Administrative Division supports the litigative mission of the Office by providing information technology, procurement and budget assistance, human resource services, facility management, and general infrastructure aid.
The objective of the Administrative Division is to deliver a full range of support services to the staff of the Office and its internal and external customers in an efficient, cost effective, timely, and customer-service-oriented manner that furthers the Office's strategic goals and objectives, meets audit and regulatory requirements, and supports a work environment that enables all employees to perform at the highest levels possible.
The Administrative Division is continually examining ways to improve the quality of services provided and expand and enhance programs to better serve the Office.