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Meet the U.S. Attorney

Richard S. Hartunian

Richard S. Hartunian

Richard S. Hartunian took office as the 48th United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York on January 3, 2010 (with interim status until his confirmation by the United States Senate the next month).  Mr. Hartunian also served as the Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC) in 2016 and 2017, leading the sixteen U.S. Attorneys who are responsible for advising the Attorney General on policy, management and operational issues impacting all 94 federal districts nationwide.

As United States Attorney, Mr. Hartunian has emphasized:

  • Terrorism prevention, border security, and cross-border collaboration with Canada;

  • Combating public corruption, violent gangs, child exploitation, and financial crimes such as health care fraud and investment fraud;

  • Affirmative Civil Enforcement in the areas of health care, defense procurement, and environmental violations; and

  • Crime prevention, including the LEADership Project, a youth violence reduction program designed to help 5th grade students steer clear of gangs, drugs, violence, and vandalism; Youth Courts; Reentry Court; and community and interdisciplinary forums to address the epidemic of opioid and synthetic drug abuse

Mr. Hartunian is a 1983 cum laude graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgetown University and a 1986 graduate of the Albany Law School of Union University.  He was engaged in the general private practice of law at the firm of Devine, Piedmont and Rutnik in Albany from 1987 to 1990.  He served as an Assistant District Attorney in Albany County from 1990 to 1997, where his work on narcotics and violent crime cases led to his designation as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in 1994.

Mr. Hartunian became an Assistant United States Attorney in 1997.  He served as the Northern District’s Narcotics Chief and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Coordinator from 2006 until his appointment as U. S. Attorney in 2010.  During his tenure as an Assistant United States Attorney, Mr. Hartunian successfully prosecuted numerous large drug, gang, and violent crime cases.  He has received many awards for his work, including the Federal Bureau of Prisons General Counsel's Exemplary Assistance Award, the Narcotics Enforcement Officers' Association U.S. Department of Justice Award, various Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Regional Awards, and several case-related commendations.

In 2010, Mr. Hartunian was honored by the Armenian Bar Association as the first United States Attorney of Armenian descent.

In 2013, Mr. Hartunian was appointed to the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC); he was named Vice Chair of the AGAC in 2015.  Mr. Hartunian also served as the Co-Chair of the AGAC’s Border and Immigration Subcommittee, leading the Northern Border Working Group of United States Attorneys, which focuses on U.S. - Canadian law enforcement issues.  He was also an active member of three other AGAC subcommittees: the Health Care Fraud Subcommittee, the Environmental Crimes Subcommittee and the Native American Issues Subcommittee, which focuses on improving public safety in tribal communities.

The Northern District of New York is comprised of thirty-two counties in upstate New York, covering an area of over 30,000 square miles that is home to about 3.4 million people.  The District includes 310 miles of the U.S. border with Canada and the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, and Onondaga Nations.  The United States Attorney has offices in Syracuse, Albany, Binghamton, and Plattsburgh.

Updated April 25, 2017