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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 3, 2020

U.S. Attorney Grant C. Jaquith Steps Down

Resigns After 31 Years With DOJ

ALBANY, NEW YORK – United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith announced his resignation upon his appointment as a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims after serving 31 years with the Department of Justice. 

Jaquith stated, “It has been an honor and privilege to serve my country for 31 years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York, striving to secure equal justice for all in criminal and civil cases.  My years as a line prosecutor, supervisor, and U.S. Attorney have been full of meaning thanks to the agents, support staff, attorneys, supervisors, and judges I have had the good fortune to work with and learn from.”

“Grant Jaquith is the epitome of a selfless public servant who has dedicated his career to the Department of Justice,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “He is a diligent and capable leader who has worked tirelessly to promote the rule of law.  Law enforcement at all levels knew that they could count on him as a true partner, as did the communities in his district.  His work has made the Northern District of New York a better and safer place.”

Mr. Jaquith took office as the 49th United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York on January 5, 2018.   He had previously served as Acting United States Attorney, First Assistant United States Attorney (2010-2017), Chief of the Criminal Division (2006-2010), and Narcotics Chief and Chief of the Albany Office (1998-2006).  During his tenure as United States Attorney, he served on three subcommittees of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee – Border and Immigration, Native American Issues, and Servicemembers and Veterans Rights (as Vice-Chair and then Chair) – and the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee’s Healthcare Fraud Working Group.

In 2016, Mr. Jaquith received the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys Director’s Award for Executive Achievement.

As United States Attorney, Jaquith emphasized several key areas.  National security was his highest priority, and his office obtained convictions against foreign nationals Mojtahedzadeh, Tepper, and Biria, who worked together to unlawfully export gas turbine parts from the United States to Iran.  His office also focused on economic espionage, obtaining a guilty plea to stealing GE trade secrets in Sui, and in Zheng and Zhang, Chinese foreign nationals will be tried on an indictment charging them with economic espionage and conspiring to steal trade secrets knowing and intending that those stolen trade secrets would be used to benefit the People’s Republic of China. 

A related priority was border security, and Jaquith served on the Attorney General Advisory Committee’s Border and Immigration subcommittee.   He also organized and led regular meetings of the U.S.-Canada Border Operations Leadership Team, which was created in 2015 to discuss cross-border law enforcement and prosecution issues. 

He emphasized aggressive narcotics and gang prosecutions, with guilty pleas against international drug trafficking and money laundering organizations such as Haviaropoulos; a RICO case against the 110 Gang in Syracuse; methamphetamine cases throughout the district including Harris in Binghamton;  and cutting-edge prosecutions of controlled substance analogues, Requena

He aggressively addressed the opioid crisis through prosecution, education, and treatment.   His office attacked the sources of supply in cases like Touchstone; held medical professionals responsible for illegal distributions, Mabry and Brown; and held dealers responsible when their poison killed, such as Boice, Burnell, Charo, Ebel, and Fillerup.  He also participated in community meetings educating teens and their parents about the dangers of opioid and synthetic drug abuse.  His office has presented 45 of those community events reaching more than 6,000 people.

In combatting financial fraud, U.S. Attorney Jaquith’s office prosecuted multi-million dollar fraudsters including Mann, which involved more than $100 million of loss related to MyPayrollHR.com; LaVigne ($10 million); Backis ($3.1 million), and Jergensen and Ghosh ($2.5 million).

U.S. Attorney Jaquith also emphasized justice for victims of violent crime.  He was personally participating in the prosecution of a death penalty case against a man who is charged with the brutal murder of co-workers, Wood, and his office is prosecuting drug dealers for a cold-blooded murder, Leeper.  His office obtained convictions and lengthy sentences against a college student who used a straw purchaser to buy a gun used to murder his father, Tan, and a man who caused severe injuries and burns with a bomb, Seppi.  He also emphasized child exploitation cases, and his office obtained lengthy sentences for child predators in LaPorte, Decker, and StromingHis office also prosecuted sextortion cases including Robinson

U.S. Attorney Jaquith thanked his staff for their impressive work and emphasized what an honor it has been to work with attorneys and support staff who “demonstrate the highest ideals of public service every day through their unwavering, tireless, and humble commitment to the pursuit of justice.”

Jaquith also focused on Native American issues by serving on the AGAC’s Native American Issues Subcommittee and regularly consulting with the Oneida, Mohawk, Onondaga, and Cayuga nation leadership in the Northern District.  His tribal liaison worked closely with tribal police agencies to address public safety needs in Indian Country.   He said, “I very much respect the Native American tribes and their leadership in our district, and have been honored to work with them.  Our efforts to maintain healthy relationships must never waver.”

Mr. Jaquith also emphasized civil work.  The office’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement attorneys continued to obtain significant results including Northland Associates, Inc., Alutiiq Diversified Services LLC, and Mallinckrodt. He appointed a Civil Rights Coordinator who obtained a $450,000 settlement to resolve a complaint alleging that a landlord subjected former and potential tenants to sexual harassment, Waterbury.  The office’s civil defensive AUSAs also did outstanding work defending the United States against claims.

Jaquith understood the value of crime prevention and community outreach. He led the office’s LEADership Project, a youth violence reduction program designed to help 5th grade students avoid the lure of gangs, drugs, violence, and vandalism; assigned attorneys to work in Reentry Courts; and participated in community events whenever he was invited.  He was particularly proud of his work with the Albany Law Enforcement Resolution Team.  

During his career, Mr. Jaquith personally prosecuted many significant cases.  In United States v. Leon, Duell, Ramsey, and Fish, he obtained perjury convictions for lies witnesses told during an arson homicide investigation where a father and his three young children were killed and another child was seriously maimed.  In United States v. Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company paid $192.7 million to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from the marketing of a prescription drug not approved as safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration.   The resolution included a deferred prosecution agreement with significant corporate compliance provisions and a monetary penalty and forfeiture totaling $20.8 million in the Northern District of New York.  In United States v. Holland and Kornak, he convicted both a research coordinator at the Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany for fraud causing a patient’s death in a cancer study and the chief of oncology who failed to ensure that accurate patient records were maintained. In United States v. Davidson, Parke, Lawrence, Morales, and Stewart, the defendants were convicted of murdering undercover drug task force officer Wallie Howard, Jr. at mid-day in a grocery store parking lot in downtown Syracuse as he attempted to purchase two kilograms of cocaine.  Mr. Jaquith prosecuted several other drug trafficking organizations to trial convictions and significant sentences, including United States v. Murgas, et al, where 3 of the 12 defendants convicted were held accountable for the murders of a customer of the ring and his girlfriend; United States v. Blythe, et al, involving a conspiracy to import at least 100 kilograms of cocaine and 2,000 pounds of marijuana; and United States v. Carnell Donaldson, who led a continuing criminal enterprise comprised of 12 co-defendants that distributed about 4 kilograms of cocaine in Syracuse every 6 weeks. He also prosecuted criminal enterprises distributing kilograms of crack and cocaine led by Tyrone Hines (14 defendants) and Vyron Hargrett (15 defendants).  In United States v.  Walter J.  Butler, the president of Service Employees International Union 200 was convicted at trial of racketeering, embezzlement, and fraud.

Mr. Jaquith served in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 1982-2011, rising to the rank of Colonel in 2004.  His military awards include the Legion of Merit. Mr. Jaquith was an Army circuit judge from 2001-2010, presiding over courts-martial at forts throughout the continental United States and in Alaska, Germany, and Korea.  In 2006, Mr. Jaquith spent three months on active duty as the trial judge at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Jaquith was in the litigation department of the law firm of Bond Schoeneck & King in Syracuse (1988-89) and a Judge Advocate on active duty in the U.S. Army (1982-88), where his work included administrative law, labor law, settlement of civil claims, legal assistance to soldiers, retirees, and their families, and criminal prosecutions. In 1984, he also taught Juvenile Law and Federal Income Taxation at Drury College. In 1982, he interned at the Public Defender’s Office in Gainesville, Florida.

Mr. Jaquith received his Juris Doctor from the University of Florida College of Law in 1982 and a Bachelor of Science (cum laude) in business administration/accounting from Presbyterian College, Clinton, South Carolina, in 1979, from which he was a Distinguished Military Graduate.

The Northern District of New York covers 32 counties in Northern and Central New York, covering an area of more than 30,000 square miles.  The District includes 310 miles of the U.S. border with Canada and the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida and Onondaga Nations.  The United States Attorney’s Office, with staffed offices in Albany, Binghamton, Plattsburgh, and Syracuse, has 50 attorneys and is responsible for conducting all criminal and civil litigation in the district involving the United States government.

Topic(s): 
Office and Personnel Updates
Updated September 3, 2020