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Press Release

Deputy Attorney General Recognizes U.S. Attorney’s Office Employees

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California

SAN FRANCISCO – Eight current employees and one former employee of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California are among the members of the Department of Justice recognized by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) Director Monty Wilkinson at the 33rd Director’s Awards Ceremony today in Washington D.C.  The awards ceremony took place in the Great Hall at the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building.  The local recipients of the awards include Doug Chang, Neill Tseng, Maryam Beros, Phil Villanueva, Sara Winslow, Alex Tse, Bruce Iwamoto, Mark Conrad, and Katie Griffin.
In his prepared remarks, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein told the awardees: “These 179 award recipients embody the best of the Department of Justice.… Today’s honorees have earned the esteem of their colleagues.  But most importantly, you have earned the gratitude of your fellow citizens — whose communities you have made safer, whose lives you have improved, and whose trust you have rewarded. ” 
U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch expanded on the Deputy Attorney General’s remarks stating, "Today we celebrate the accomplishments of the extraordinary employees of this district.  The fair and impartial administration of justice requires tireless determination and hard work.  The recipients of these awards have unquestionably gone the extra mile on behalf of the American people and are to be commended for their selfless dedication to the Department of Justice.”
Doug Chang, Neill Tseng, Maryam Beros, Phil Villanueva, Sara Winslow, Alex Tse, and Mark Conrad (now an alumnus of the office) were recognized for their work as a team on the investigation into the activities of Morgan Stanley prior to the 2008 financial crisis.  The investigation resulted in a $2.6 billion settlement.  The team’s sweeping investigation revealed that Morgan Stanley failed to disclose critical information about the mortgages underlying its securities.  Many of the toxic loans securitized by Morgan Stanley defaulted, and investors across the nation sustained billions of dollars in losses.  The settlement achieved by this team holds accountable one of the banks whose conduct helped bring about one of the most devastating financial crisis.  In connection with the settlement, Morgan Stanley acknowledged in a statement of facts that it failed to disclose critical information to investors.  The team received the Director’s Award for Superior Performance by a Litigating Team.
Bruce Iwamoto is a Program Specialist who was recognized for his superior performance in administering the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program for the Pacific Region since 2000.  The Pacific Region is comprised of the eleven judicial districts in the Pacific Northwest and the Pacific Islands.  Mr. Iwamoto has shown great leadership over many years as the chief administrative officer for the program in this region.  Mr. Iwamoto was recognized as having superior organizational skills, dedication, and commitment.  His efforts have paved the way for significant law enforcement accomplishments throughout the region from Guam to Idaho.  Mr. Iwamoto received the Director’s Award for Superior Performance in Administration. 
Also recognized was celebrated was Katie Griffin.  Before joining the Northern District of California in 2017, Ms. Griffin was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Texas.  As an AUSA in Texas, Ms. Griffin investigated and prosecuted Maverick County officials, including both a Commissioner and Justice of the Peace, for the their roles in a bribery, kickback, and bid-rigging scheme.  The defendants were convicted of manipulating the bidding process to guarantee that certain individuals were awarded construction contracts in exchange for thousands of dollars in kickback payments.  The persistent investigation and prosecution effectively rooted out corruption and restored faith and confidence to governance in Maverick County.  Ms. Griffin received the Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an AUSA-Criminal.
The Northern District of California was one of 35 districts represented at the ceremony. 

Updated June 22, 2017

Office and Personnel Updates