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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Attorney General Recognizes Northern District Of Georgia Employees

WASHINGTON – Assistant United States Attorneys Glenn D. Baker, William G. Traynor, Dahil D. Goss, J. Russell Phillips, Stephen H. McClain, Investigator Donna J. Davis, IT Solutions Manager Michael Laskowski, and Paralegal Specialist Barbara A. McIntosh of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Georgia were among the 243 members of the Department of Justice recognized by Attorney General Eric Holder and Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) Director Monty Wilkinson at the 30th annual Director’s Awards Ceremony today in Washington D.C.

The Northern District of Georgia was one of 44 districts represented at the ceremony which was held in the Great Hall at the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building.

In his prepared remarks to awardees, Attorney General Holder said, “Locally, nationally, and internationally, you represent the very best that this Department has to offer.  Your work embodies our ongoing commitment – not merely to win cases, but to do justice; to protect our fellow citizens from crime, violence, and terrorism; to empower the most vulnerable among us; and to uphold the rule of law.” 

EOUSA Director Monty Wilkinson echoed those sentiments, saying to the recipients, “You have persevered, and remained focused and motivated – achieving remarkable results in work that makes a difference in the lives of citizens across our great country. The vast scope of your collective accomplishments is nothing short of exceptional.”

“We are fortunate to have public servants of the highest caliber working to seek justice on behalf of the citizens of this district,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.  “Each of these deserving award recipients is remarkably talented and dedicated to protecting our community.”

The EOUSA Director’s Awards recipients from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia are as follows:

  • AUSAs Russell Phillips and Steve McClain received a Director’s Award for Superior Performance as AUSAs in recognition of their investigation and conviction of Andrew S. Mackey and his common-law-wife, Inger Jensen, who operated a $12 million Ponzi scheme that victimized more than 150 investors throughout the United States. Mackey and Jensen pretended to be financial experts who, acting as ASM Financial Funding Corporation, invested funds for “sophisticated investors” and promised earnings of 20% per month.  They never generated any return on their investments however, and lost all of the principal they invested.  Most of the Georgia victims were members of the same church who invested because their pastor did so and appeared to be receiving huge returns.  A jury convicted Mackey and Inger on 15 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy after an eight-day trial.  Mackey was sentenced to serve 27 years, and Jensen was sentenced to serve 14 years.  Mackey’s sentence is the longest ever in the Northern District of Georgia for a case of this type.
  • AUSAs Glenn D. Baker, William G. Traynor, and Dahil D. Goss; Investigator Donna J. Davis; and Paralegal Specialist Barbara A. McIntosh received a Director’s Award for Superior Performance by a Litigative Team for their investigation and prosecution of George Houser for healthcare and tax fraud.  Houser was a nursing home owner who accepted $32.9 million in Medicare and Medicaid funds while his operation of the nursing homes exhibited a long term pattern and practice of conditions that were so poor that any services provided were of no value to the residents.  The residents of three nursing homes went hungry and lived in abominable conditions.  One resident’s physician removed a cockroach that had burrowed deep into the resident’s ear when she was hospitalized for dehydration and malnutrition.  Also, a nurse from another nursing home, who had been called in to assist, described her shock when she found one bed-ridden resident covered from her neck to her feet with small black bugs, and the woman's eyes matted shut from lack of care and cleaning.

After a four-week trial, Houser was found guilty of conspiring to defraud the Medicare and Georgia Medicaid programs by billing for services he did not provide in the operation of three nursing homes between 2004 and 2007.  At Houser’s sentencing, the district judge described the conditions at the nursing homes as “barbaric, inhumane and uncivilized,” and commented that if he had a case alleging these same conditions in a prison, he would close that prison on Eighth Amendment grounds.  The court sentenced Houser to 20 years in prison. The significant sentence Houser received generated considerable awareness at both the local and national levels.  

  • IT Solutions Manager Michael Laskowski is being recognized as part of the team whose innovative work helped migrate the entire community of 94 United States Attorneys’ offices and the Executive Office for United States Attorneys to the Microsoft Office suite during 2013.  This initiative achieved a major milestone in transforming the community’s ability to work with mobile devices and applications essential to functioning in the 21st century law enforcement environment.  The team harnessed the transition to develop powerful new ways for attorneys and their colleagues to work.  They created the Word USATab that includes many custom features for legal documents, such as embedding the Lexis and Westlaw Table-of-Authorities for citation style formatting and legal entity insertion.  The team also created a set of standardized intelligent templates to automate the reuse of content and legal references and reduce keyboarding and mistakes.  This effort saved $820,875 in fiscal year 2013, with savings expected to continue into the future.

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 April 8, 2015