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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

U.S. Attorney General Recognizes District Employees

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul S. Becker and Jess E. Michaelsen were 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.

“Both award recipients are tough federal prosecutors and diligent public servants who have served the cause of justice tirelessly,” Dickinson said. “They are representative of so many employees who go above and beyond the call of duty. I’m proud of their accomplishments and applaud them for this well-deserved national recognition.”

The Western District of Missouri 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.”

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.”

Executive Achievement Award

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul S. Becker is recognized for his contributions over his more-than-25-year career as a federal prosecutor.  For more than 20 years, from 1991 until 2013, Becker was the chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force and the Violent Crime Strike Force Unit. In this role, his personal contributions included not only supervising other prosecutors, but also serving as the lead prosecutor in numerous high profile organized crime and violent crime cases. During this time he also creatively managed the district’s gun violence reduction program, which for multiple years led the entire nation in the number of indictments against defendants for illegally possessing firearms. Since he joined the Organized Crime Strike Force in Kansas City in 1987, Becker has served the Department of Justice as a career executive with high ethical standards, personal integrity, and dedication to public service.

Superior Performance as an AUSA

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jess E. Michaelsen is recognized for the successful resolution of a number of high profile and challenging cases. Michaelsen served as lead counsel in United States v. Rodney Anderson, et al., a three-defendant arson case involving the Hereford House, a landmark restaurant in Kansas City. All three defendants received long prison sentences after being convicted at trial. He also served as lead counsel in United States v. Martin Sigillito, et al., which resulted in guilty verdicts following a four-week jury trial in St. Louis, Mo. Sigillito was sentenced to 40 years in prison for leading the $56 million Ponzi scheme. Michaelsen also managed a very complex and wide-ranging fraud caseload including United States v. Deborah Flores, et al., in which he obtained a 40-count indictment against 14 defendants who later pleaded guilty to their roles in an illegal document fraud scheme operating out of a driver’s license office in St. Joseph, Mo.

The Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys 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.
Updated January 9, 2015