WASHINGTON — – American Law Newswire – Attorney General Eric Holder recognizes 282 department employees for their distinguished public service today at the 60th Annual Attorney General’s Awards Ceremony. Fifty-seven other individuals outside of the department are also honored for their work. Held at DAR Constitution Hall, this annual ceremony recognizes both department employees and others for their outstanding dedication to carrying out the Department of Justice’s missions. This year, Colorado Civil Division Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Traskos and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Larson along with others were awarded the Distinguished Service Award for assisting in the procuring of a $25 billion mortgage servicing settlement.

“This year’s award recipients have made significant contributions across, and far beyond, the Department of Justice and helped to protect the rights, safety and best interests of the citizens we are privileged to serve,” Attorney General Holder said. “I am grateful for the dedication and passion that these extraordinary public servants bring to their work, and I am honored to count them as colleagues.”

“Coloradans should be proud that hard working Assistant U.S. Attorneys and lawyers in the Colorado Attorney General’s Office were an integral and vital part of this critical effort on behalf of homeowners,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “Thanks to their efforts, the mortgage service settlement team, including Colorado’s Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin Traskos and J. Chris Larson, the Department of Justice was able to hold financial institutions responsible for abusive and illegal foreclosure and mortgage servicing practices that harmed homeowners, and also to craft and impose a broad set of national policies and practices designed to prevent those institutions from ever engaging in those abuses again.”

The Distinguished Service Award is presented to the individuals involved in procuring a $25 billion mortgage servicing settlement between the United States, 49 state attorneys general and the five largest mortgage servicers, representing the largest federal-state settlement in history. The settlement includes comprehensive new mortgage loan servicing standards, $5 billion to state and federal treasuries and borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure, $20 billion in consumer relief and a $1 billion resolution of False Claims Act recoveries by the Eastern District of New York.

From the District of Colorado, Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Chris Larson and the District of Colorado’s Civil Division, Chief Kevin T. Traskos received the award. Also involved in the settlement, receiving the award are: from the Colorado Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Section, First Assistant Attorney General Andrew P. McCallin; Office of the Associate Attorney General, Senior Counsel and Chief of Staff Brian Hauck; from the Civil Division’s Fraud Section, Deputy Director Michael D. Granston and Trial Attorney John Warshawsky; from the Civil Rights Division’s Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, Trial Attorneys Elizabeth A. Singer, Amber R. Standridge and Daniel Yi; from the Eastern District of New York, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kenneth M. Abell and Richard K. Hayes; from the Florida Office of the Attorney General’s Division of Economic Crimes, Bureau Chief Victoria A. Butler; from the North Carolina Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Division, Assistant Attorney General Philip A. Lehman; from the Office of the Connecticut Attorney General’s Finance Department, Assistant Attorney General Matthew J. Budzik; from the Office of the Illinois Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, Chief Deborah A. Hagan; from the Office of the Attorney General of Texas’ Consumer Protection Division, Assistant Attorney General James A. Daross; from the Washington Office of the Attorney General, Senior Counsel David W. Huey; and from the Iowa Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, Assistant Attorney General Patrick T. Madigan.

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