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18 November 2004 – LAWFUEL – Law, legal, law firm news – The Depar…

18 November 2004 – LAWFUEL – Law, legal, law firm news – The Department of Justice held its 21st annual Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) Director’s Awards Ceremony yesterday in which 224 award recipients received recognition for their excellence in law enforcement. Recipients included Assistant United States Attorneys, litigation and information technology support personnel, as well as others who have made outstanding contributions in federal, state, and local law enforcement.

Four members of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida received 2004 EOUSA Director’s Awards. The four recipients were:

Superior Performance as an AUSA: William T. Shockley and Jeffrey N. Kaplan

Assistant United States Attorneys Shockley and Kaplan were recognized for their outstanding efforts in the indictment and successful prosecution of 30 defendants associated with the Bonanno and Trafficante Organized Crime Families, including Anthony A. Graziano, the consigliere of the Bonanno Family. These defendants were charged with a variety of offenses, including RICO conspiracy, illegal gambling, loan sharking, and offenses relating to an illegal telemarketing operation, namely, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. All of the defendants, except one, were convicted, 27 by guilty pleas and 2 by jury verdicts following a 25-day trial. The illegal gambling business generated millions of dollars annually, and the illegal telemarketing operation fraudulently obtained approximately $10,409,695.47 from over 783 victims all over the United States.

Superior Performance in a Litigative Support Role: Janet Notheis

Ms. Notheis was recognized for her accomplishments in overseeing the United States Attorney’s Office’s responses to international requests for legal assistance. With responsibility for handling of hundreds of requests for international legal assistance per year, Ms. Notheis is a valuable resource to the entire Office. She provides training regarding the handling of international requests for legal assistance; acts as the contact person between the United States Attorney’s Office, Office of International Affairs, and Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding international requests for legal assistance; obtains documents from financial and other institutions in response to international requests for legal assistance; and tracks the progress of all responses to international requests for legal assistance.

Appreciation Award for Contributions that Enhance the Mission of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys and the United States Attorneys’ Offices: Kenneth Blanco

AUSA Kenneth Blanco was recognized for his outstanding contributions and service to EOUSA and to United States Attorneys’ Offices around the country during an eighteen month detail as Chief of the Office of Legal Counsel at EOUSA. AUSA Blanco returned to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida as a Deputy Chief in the Major Crimes Section.

“I commend all of the award recipients for their extraordinary accomplishments,” said Attorney General John Ashcroft. “You have made a difference that has expanded the freedom of the American people-giving them freedom from terrorism, freedom from crime, freedom from the dependency of drugs, and freedom from dishonesty and deception in our financial markets. Your work, your lives, and your actions have changed lives for the better, ensuring that every American is equal under the law and protected by the United States Constitution.”

“These awards recognize the impressive achievements of 224 of the nation’s finest public servants,” said Mary Beth Buchanan, Director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys at the Department of Justice. “They are the prosecutors, secretaries, paralegals, IT specialists, officers, agents, and others whose hard work makes our nation safer and our system of justice stronger.”

“I am proud of the accomplishments of Jeff, Bill, Janet, and Ken. It is because of the hard work and dedication of persons such as these that our Office continues to be one of the premier U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the nation,” said Mr. Jiménez.

Working together, the nation’s law enforcement and justice community have:

* Driven the violent crime rate to its lowest level in 30 years;
* Increased gun-crime prosecutions by 68 percent in just three years-and as a consequence, over the past three years the number of gun crimes has decreased by more than 250,000;
* Charged more than 900 violators in more than 400 cases since the inception of the Corporate Fraud Task Force. To date, more than 500 individuals have been convicted, including the prosecution of top executives whom have been shown do not stand above the law;
* Dismantled 14 major drug-trafficking networks and seriously disrupted eight more over the past two years alone;
* Stopped human trafficking. In the fiscal years of 2001 to 2003, 210 new human-trafficking investigations were opened. That is double the number of the previous three years;
* Charged 439 individuals for criminal civil rights violations over the past three fiscal years. This is more than were charged during the preceding three years; and
* Obtained the single largest civil penalty in history against a single company for violations of an environmental statute. Through tough enforcement of the Clean Air Act, a reduction in air pollution of over 465,000 tons per year has been achieved. And courts imposed more than $179 million in civil penalties for violations in environmental cases, second only to fiscal year 2003’s record-setting recovery of $203 million.
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* The Executive Office for United States Attorneys provides oversight, general executive assistance, and direction to the 94 United States Attorneys’ Offices around the country.
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British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.