The Criminal Division is responsible for all criminal investigations and prosecutions handled by the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Utah.
Violent Crime Section
The Violent Crime Section prosecutes the most serious violent crime throughout Utah. The Violent Crime Section’s most important priority is addressing all concerns regarding domestic and international terrorism. Members of the Section work hand in hand with members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) to assist in the prevention of terrorist acts. The Violent Crime Section’s next priority is combatting the three primary types of violent crime: (1) traditional violent crime; (2) drug trafficking; and (3) immigration cases. The Violent Crime Section also handles Project Safe Childhood and Civil Rights cases, which are also priority programs of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Utah Project Safe Neighborhoods has been one of the flagship programs for combatting violent crime for more than 18 years. Utah Project Safe Neighborhoods is a robust team of federal, state, and local prosecutors and law enforcement officers throughout Utah who handle a high volume of violent crime cases throughout Utah, with special emphases on prosecuting the most dangerous criminals such as gang members and prior violent offenders and addressing the opioid epidemic. The team consistently files a high number of federal cases involving firearms offenses, drug trafficking, bank robbery, Hobbs Act robbery, violent crime in Indian Country, and carjacking.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office protects communities throughout Utah by prosecuting hundreds of criminal aliens each year for aggravated reentry, which involves the crime of illegally returning to the United States after committing serious crime(s) and being deported. The Office also prosecutes cases involving alien smuggling, document fraud, marriage and visa fraud, hostage taking, and human trafficking.
Financial Crime Section
The Financial Crime Section’s top priority is prosecuting the most serious investment fraud throughout Utah. That often includes affinity fraud, or investment scams that prey upon groups such as religious or ethnic communities or the elderly, which is especially rampant in Utah. The Financial Crime Section also prosecutes tax fraud, bank fraud, mortgage fraud, health care fraud, Social Security disability fraud, bankruptcy fraud, public corruption, and identity theft.
Within the Criminal Division, all appeals are routinely assigned to appellate attorneys within the Appellate Section who brief and argue the cases before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Appellate Section also conducts an independent review of all District of Utah court decisions adverse to the government and provides training to the Criminal Division on new appellate decisions and potential appellate issues.
Asset Forfeiture Section
The Asset Forfeiture Section seizes and forfeits assets that represent the proceeds from violations of federal law. Asset forfeiture is a powerful tool used by law enforcement against criminals and criminal organizations to deprive them of their ill-gotten gains through seizure of assets. Assets can be forfeited through administrative forfeiture, civil judicial forfeiture or criminal forfeiture. Forfeited assets can be used to provide restitution to victims of crimes and to support federal, state, and local law enforcement activities.