The Chicago Syndicate: In the Largest Increase in Decades, Attorney General Jeff Sessions of @TheJusticeDept, Selects District of Columbia to Receive Additional Resources to Combat Violent Crime and Fraud

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

In the Largest Increase in Decades, Attorney General Jeff Sessions of @TheJusticeDept, Selects District of Columbia to Receive Additional Resources to Combat Violent Crime and Fraud

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has selected the District of Columbia to receive three additional Assistant U.S. Attorneys to focus on violent crime and civil enforcement matters, part of a nationwide influx of federal resources to communities.

In the largest increase in decades, Attorney General Sessions announced on June 4, 2018 that the Department of Justice is allocating 311 new Assistant U.S. Attorneys to assist in priority areas. Those allocations are as follows: 190 violent crime prosecutors, 86 civil enforcement attorneys, and 35 additional immigration prosecutors. Nationwide, much of the civil enforcement work will support the newly created Prescription Interdiction & Litigation Task Force, which targets the opioid crisis at every level of the distribution system.

“Under President Trump's strong leadership, the Department of Justice is going on offense against violent crime, illegal immigration, and the opioid crisis—and today we are sending in reinforcements,” said Attorney General Sessions. “We have a saying in my office that a new federal prosecutor is ‘the coin of the realm.’  When we can eliminate wasteful spending, one of my first questions to my staff is if we can deploy more prosecutors to where they are needed. I have personally worked to re-purpose existing funds to support this critical mission, and as a former federal prosecutor myself, my expectations could not be higher. These exceptional and talented prosecutors are key leaders in our crime fighting partnership. This addition of new Assistant U.S. Attorney positions represents the largest increase in decades.”

“My office is grateful for the extra support being provided by the Justice Department to make our community safer,” said U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu. “We will put our new attorneys to work as quickly as possible on complex cases involving violent crime, drug trafficking, health care fraud, and other serious offenses that harm the citizens of the District of Columbia.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office already is working with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and other law enforcement partners on a Justice Department initiative called Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) that is generating additional cases focusing on violent crime. Under Project Safe Neighborhoods, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to a coordinated law enforcement approach and identifying and addressing the most violent locations in the District of Columbia and the offenders.

In the District of Columbia, two of the three new Assistant U.S. Attorneys will focus on violent crime and one will focus on civil enforcement. The new attorneys are in addition to an Assistant U.S. Attorney provided to the District of Columbia in an earlier initiative created by Attorney General Sessions to target cases involving violent crime.

On the violent crime front, the two new prosecutors will take on responsibilities including work on multi-agency investigations focusing on neighborhood crews and gangs in the Sixth and Seventh Police Districts. Much of the upcoming work will include coordinating federal and local law enforcement resources to combat the recent uptick in violent crime in these areas.  The additional Assistant U.S. Attorneys will supplement and increase efforts in executing the Office’s ongoing Project Safe Neighborhoods initiatives and MPD’s Summer Crime Initiatives.

On the civil enforcement side, the new attorney will join five current Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Office’s Civil Division in sharing responsibility for handling a large docket of complex fraud cases.  The District of Columbia ranks fourth in the nation in the number of whistleblower cases filed under the False Claims Act since 1987, and the number of new cases in this district in which the United States is the plaintiff increased on average by 76% during the period from 2013 - 2017.  Those cases primarily involve procurement fraud and health care fraud schemes that require substantial resources to investigate and prosecute.

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