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US Justice Department adds prosecutors to Atlanta office

U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak has added more firepower to his stable of federal prosecutors in Atlanta, including new attorneys with expertise in fraud, government investigations, racketeering, forfeiture and asset recovery.

Pak announced Monday that he has hired eight new attorneys for his office, which has been investigating corruption at Atlanta City Hall for two years. That investigation already has issued at least nine subpoenas resulting in millions of pages of documents turned over by the city; secured four guilty pleas on bribery charges; and unsealed one indictment of a Reed political confidant who is accused of conspiracy to commit bribery, money laundering, wire fraud, tampering with a witness or informant, and filing false tax returns.

U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak has added new prosecutors in Atlanta. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

“The opportunity to represent the United States is one of the greatest honors for a lawyer,” Pak said in a prepared statement. “I’m honored to lead these exceptionally talented and dedicated lawyers whose commitment to public service is unmatched.”

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Angela Adams is coming back to Atlanta after a stint at the Department of Justice in Washington, where she served as a trial attorney in the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division. Adams previously spent six years with Alston & Bird, specializing in government investigations and white collar crime.

Bret Williams, a criminal defense attorney who was formerly a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York and in Atlanta, said he’d be surprised if any of the new hires were being brought in to work on the City Hall investigation.

“I can’t see anyone being hired for a specific case, but having those skills can help an attorney get a job,” Williams said.

April 5, 2018 Atlanta - U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak speaks about bribery scandals at Atlanta City Hall during a press conference at the Richard B. Russell Federal Building on Thursday, April 5, 2018. Rev. Mitzi Bickers made her first appearance in federal court Thursday to face charges that she took $2 million in bribes to steer city of Atlanta contracts to at least two contractors from 2010 to 2015. She was released on a $50,000 appearance bond. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Other new hires in Atlanta’s Criminal Division include Theodore Hertzberg, who was Asset Forfeiture Chief as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Georgia; Leanne Marek, who joined the office from Alston & Bird where she was a senior associate focused on white collar matters; Erin Spritzer, from the USAO’s Middle District of Georgia, where her cases included public corruption; and Noah Schechtman, who worked for the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office and tried a wide range of cases including narcotics, trafficking, armed robbery and murder.

The hires are part of a nationwide effort, announced by the Trump administration in June, to hire 311 new Assistant United States Attorneys to assist in priority areas.

Pak also hired three attorneys for his civil division, including Austin Hall, who specializes in Medicaid Fraud Control; Andres Sandoval who was a civil litigator with expertise in asset recovery, financial fraud and bankruptcy; and Flora Manship, who was a senior associate at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton in Atlanta, where she focused on labor and employment litigation.

>> COMPLETE COVERAGE: Latest Atlanta City Hall investigative content

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