Attorney General Mukasey Recognizes Department Employees and Others for Their Service at Annual Awards Ceremony

WASHINGTON , Oct. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey recognized 250 Department employees for their distinguished public service today at the 56th Annual Attorney General Awards Ceremony. Twenty-two other individuals...

The team responsible for the implementation and pioneering of the National Procurement Fraud Task Force was also awarded the Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service. Recipients were from the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, Steve A. Linick , Deputy Chief of the National Procurement Fraud Task Force; Trial Attorneys James J. Graham and Barbara A. Corprew ; from the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, Trial Attorney Bradford L. Geyer ; from General Services Administration, Brian D. Miller , Inspector General; and FBI Assistant Director Kenneth W. Kaiser .

The Task Force was assembled in October 2006 to promote the early detection, prevention and prosecution of procurement and grant fraud associated with increasing contracting activity for national security and other government programs. The Task Force's efforts have produced more effective resource allocation in procurement fraud investigations, which has led directly to the acceleration of investigations and prosecutions. Since the creation of the Task Force, more than 300 fraud cases have resulted in criminal charges, convictions, civil actions or settlements.

The Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement recognizes outstanding professional achievements by law enforcement officers of the Department. Three Excellence in Law Enforcement Awards were awarded this year.

The Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement was presented to a team from DEA for their successful investigation and prosecution of one of the most significant Afghan narco-terrorist organizations. Recipients include, Paul K. Craine , Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Special Operations Division; Michael J. Ferguson Executive Assistant, Office of Enforcement Operations; from the New York Division, James J. Hunt , Assistant Special Agent in Charge; Special Agents Patrick J. Hamlette and Francis X. Rau ; from the Nassau County, N.Y. , Office, Mark Minelli , Group Supervisor; and from the San Diego Division, William R. Sherman , Assistant Special Agent in Charge. Their efforts removed a significant source of funding for the Taliban, brought two White House-designated foreign narcotics kingpins and consolidated priority organization targets to justice, and paved the way for a historic extradition relationship between Afghanistan and the United States .

Another Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement was presented to William P. Delaney , Special Agent, FBI Jackson, Miss. Division for his outstanding performance in the case of Operation Benchmark, in which a conspiracy of judicial bribery and honest services wire fraud was uncovered and prosecuted.

From the FBI Los Angeles Division, Supervisory Special Agent Ramyar Tabatabaian ; Special Agents Jason N. Smolanoff and Todd Munoz ; from FBI Beijing, China , Legal Attache Steven E. Hendershot and Assistant Legal Attache Rodney B. Osborne , were honored with the Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement for the successful undercover and joint international police investigation entitled Operation Summer Solstice. Their efforts led to an unprecedented successful joint investigation with the Ministry of Public Service in the People's Republic of China to enforce intellectual property laws. This cooperative effort resulted in the arrest of 25 individuals, the search of multiple businesses and residential locations, asset seizures by the Chinese government worth more than $7 million, and the seizure of more than 290,000 counterfeit software products in China with an estimated retail value of $500 million.

The Attorney General's Award for Excellence in Management recognizes outstanding administrative or managerial achievements that have significantly improved operations and productivity, or reduced costs.