Attorney General Eric Holder Recognizes
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – WASHINGTON – Assistant United States Attorneys John P. McAdams and Lee H. Vilker of the United States Attorney’s Office in Rhode Island are among 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 District of Rhode Island 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.”
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lee H. Vilker and John P. McAdams successfully investigated and prosecuted a complex 15-year fraud and identity theft scheme that preyed upon terminally ill hospice patients in the case United States v. Joseph Caramadre and Raymour Radhakrishnan. The defendants fraudulently obtained identity information of terminally ill people by posing as philanthropists through advertisements in a religious newspaper. They used the identity information to obtain millions of dollars, by purchasing investments containing death benefit features in the names of the terminally ill.
The majority of victims and witnesses were deceased, but Assistant U.S. Attorneys Vilker and McAdams obtained an unprecedented number of pre-indictment depositions of several terminally ill hospice patients before they died. Both defendants pleaded guilty one week into what was expected to be a four-month trial. The lead defendant subsequently moved to withdraw his guilty plea, leading to a four-day evidentiary hearing. The case also included complex proof issues for calculating the approximately $46 million in restitution.
“The recognition by the Department of Justice today of the outstanding work by Assistant United States Attorneys Lee Vilker and John McAdams in United States versus Joseph Caramadre, et al., was well-deserved,” commented United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha. “These two prosecutors, ably assisted by an equally talented team of support staff and law enforcement agents, worked for years to ensure that the voices of victims, many of whom are now deceased, could be heard and justice could be done. I am incredibly proud of their dedication and commitment to the people of Rhode Island.”
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 .
To assist the media and the public, a glossary of federal judicial terms and procedures is available at http://www.justice.gov/usao/justice101/