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Press Release

United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha Announces Leadership Team

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha today announced the appointment of Sara Miron Bloom, a veteran federal prosecutor who amassed a diverse and exceedingly distinguished record of accomplishment while serving in the United States Attorney’s Office for District of Massachusetts for over two decades, to lead his team of supervisors in the District of Rhode Island.

As an Assistant United States Attorney and supervisor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston, Ms. Bloom investigated and litigated complex financial crime cases in the Securities, Financial, & Cyber Fraud Unit, and served as Chief of the Civil Division’s Affirmative Litigation Unit and as Senior Litigation Counsel to the Criminal Division.  In those roles, she led and prosecuted groundbreaking civil and criminal pharmaceutical marketing fraud cases against Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and other companies that resulted in approximately $6 billion in total criminal and civil recoveries; she also served with distinction an Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil Division, litigating defensive and affirmative matters on behalf of the United States.

Ms. Bloom succeeds Assistant United States Attorney Richard B. Myrus as First Assistant, following Mr. Myrus’ term as Acting United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island from February 2021 to December 2021. AUSA Myrus continues in his role as a prosecutor in the office’s Criminal Division, as well as in a newly created position as Counsel to the United States Attorney.

 “I consider myself, and more importantly, this Office, to be extremely fortunate to have a prosecutor of Sara Bloom’s talent and hard-earned reputation join our team,” said U.S. Attorney Cunha.  “Her work leading and handling large and complex investigations and holding the powerful to account is second to none. That background, and her experience handling and supervising virtually every category of case prosecuted or litigated by the United States perfectly complements the talented and dedicated staff of public servants in this Office who serve the people of Rhode Island every day.  I would also like to thank Richard Myrus for his exceptional service as Acting United States Attorney, and distinguished work as a prosecutor in this Office for fifteen years.  I value his experience and judgment and am pleased that he will be taking on this new role on my leadership team.”

Mr. Cunha today also announced the appointment of Assistant United States Attorney Bethany N. Wong to serve as Chief of the Civil Division. Ms. Wong was appointed an Assistant United States Attorney in the office’s Civil Division in August 2014. In addition to representing the United States in a wide range of civil affirmative and defensive matters, Ms. Wong has also served as the office’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement coordinator since October 2018. Ms. Wong succeeds United States Attorney Cunha as Civil Chief.

 “Bethany Wong is a superlative civil litigator, whose talents as an attorney are equaled only by her sound judgment and dedication to the public interest,” U.S. Attorney Cunha remarked. “I am confident that she will continue and expand the critical and impactful work of the Civil Division, particularly in the vital area of affirmative litigation.”

Additionally, Mr. Cunha today announced that the remainder of current leadership team will continue in their respective capacities:

Sandra R. Hebert has led the Criminal Division since December 2020. In addition to prosecuting a wide variety of criminal matters, including several significant drug and white-collar crime cases, Ms. Hebert previously served as OCEDTF Chief and Criminal Division Deputy Chief. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Rhode Island, Ms. Hebert served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of Texas - Midland Division beginning in 2004. Prior to her appointments as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Ms. Hebert served as an officer in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps.

Lee H. Vilker, who has served as Deputy Criminal Chief since December 2020, joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island in June 2002, after serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of New Jersey for nearly three years. In his more than two decades as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Vilker has specialized in investigating and prosecuting complex white-collar fraud cases. Mr. Vilker has prosecuted a wide variety of criminal conduct, including Ponzi schemes, investment fraud and corporate embezzlement, as well as narcotics offenses and crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children.

Lauren S. Zurier will continue to serve in her role as Chief of Appeals, a position she has held since December 2019. Ms. Zurier litigates the District’s criminal cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Prior to being named an Assistant United States Attorney, Ms. Zurier served as an appellate prosecutor for over two decades in the office of the Rhode Island Attorney General.

 “We are fortunate to have such a deep bench of talented and dedicated attorneys in positions of leadership in this Office,” said Cunha.  “I have every confidence that this team has the experience, judgment, and skill that will enable us to continue and expand on our mission to protect the public safety, to serve all Rhode Islanders, and to maximize the impact and effectiveness of our enforcement efforts in every area.” 

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Contact

Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated January 10, 2022

Topic
Office and Personnel Updates
Press Release Number: 22-05