Once in a While, Trump Does Something Really Good, Eh Andrew Lelling?

Friday, March 15, 2019

I take a backseat to no one in skepticism of the Trump administration.  To this day, 29 months after Trump was elected, I have difficulty believing the "cheddar-colored billionaire," as Maureen Dowd of The New York Times dubbed him, is actually president of the United States, and yet I have to concede that not everything Trump has done or is doing is bad. 
Trump makes a good decision every now and then, such as when he appointed Andew E. Lelling U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.
Lelling is a highly qualified, highly principled  public servant.  We can be glad, we can rest easy, knowing he's the top Justice Department official in the Commonwealth.
Jody Godoy of the publication Law 360 wrote an article about Lelling in September of 2017 headlined, "Boston U.S. Atty. Nominee 'Wicked Smart,' Colleagues Say." 
Godoy quoted Lelling's former boss at the federal Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, Ralph Boyd, as saying:
"In the law, and particularly in elite jobs in the law, there isn't a shortage of smart people.  But what there is a shortage of is wicked smart people with really good judgment and a high decency quotient.  And Andy has got all three of those, in rare combination."
Before his appointment as U.S. Attorney on September 11, 2017, Lelling was a federal prosecutor for more than 15 years, serving first in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department and later in the U.S. Attorney's offices for the Eastern District of Virginia and the District of Massachusetts.
On the Department of Justice's website you will find the following:
"During his time as a prosecutor in the District of Massachusetts, Mr. Lelling served as senior litigation counsel and as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Economic Crimes Unit and on the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force.  He was the lead prosecutor in a number of complex fraud, immigration and international drug trafficking investigations, including, most recently, the successful prosecution of one of the largest pyramid schemes ever charged by the Department of Justice, which involved over a million victims worldwide and losses of $3 billion.  In addition, Mr. Lelling has prosecuted major drug trafficking organizations, domestic branches of Mexican drug cartels, and global drug traffickers based in Eastern Europe.  In his role as the Senior Litigation Counsel, Mr. Lelling developed enforcement policy for criminal prosecutions and trained prosecutors and law enforcement officers on criminal practice."
Lelling is an honor's graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Class of 1994. 
If you think that U.S. Attorney is not an especially important job, please think again.
A U.S. Attorney has tremendous power and influence.  The decisions he or she makes, in fact, have billion-dollar consequences.
Case in point:
During the 2018 federal fiscal year, the District of Massachusetts collected more $25,028,095 in criminal actions, and $4,906,284,211 in civil actions.
The District of Massachusetts also worked with other U.S. Attorneys' Offices and units of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $282,208,233 in cases they pursued jointly.
In total, the Justice Department collected $14,839,821,650 (nearly $15 billion) in civil and criminal actions during the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2018.  That was nearly seven times the appropriated $2.13 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Office that year.
Massachusetts collections accounted for more than one-third of all the fines, penalties and charges assessed by federal authorities in FY 2008!
In addition to these civil and criminal collections, the District of Massachusetts was also responsible for the forfeiture of $20,788,659 in criminal proceeds, or other property involved in crimes, in Fiscal Year 2018.
“I’m proud of the work the prosecutors in my office have done to secure more than $5 billion in civil and criminal collections, and asset forfeitures, in 2018 alone,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “The District of Massachusetts has long been a leader in financial recoveries in the areas of health care fraud, securities fraud and civil settlements, and we will continue to aggressively pursue collections that return money to victims of crime and U.S. taxpayers, and that deprive criminals of their ill-gotten gains.”
The largest civil collections were from affirmative civil enforcement cases, in which the U.S. government recovered government (public) money lost to fraud or other misconduct, or collected fines imposed on individuals and/or corporations for violations of federal health, safety, civil rights or environmental laws, or fines for other fraudulent conduct. In addition, civil debts were collected on behalf of several federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Internal Revenue Service, the Small Business Administration and the Department of Education.
To give you an idea of how busy Lelling's office is, look at the headlines on the press releases issued by his office on just one recent day,  Thursday, March 14: 



No comments:

Post a Comment