Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Selects Corey Ellis as Director of Asset Forfeiture Accountability

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein today announced that Corey Ellis, First Assistant U.S. Attorney of the Western District of North Carolina, will serve as the Director of Asset Forfeiture Accountability within the Office of the Deputy Attorney General. Pursuant to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s Oct. 16 memorandum, Ellis will coordinate the Department’s Asset Forfeiture Program, including reviewing complaints and ensuring compliance with the law.

“Many criminals transfer ill-gotten gains to relatives or friends, and others use couriers to transport cash. Civil asset forfeiture helps prevent crime by enabling the government to recover property when prosecuting the person caught holding it may not be appropriate or feasible,” Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein said. “Given his personal experience handling complex asset forfeiture litigation and his superb reputation as a manager, Corey Ellis will strengthen the Justice Department’s Asset Forfeiture Program and help us prevent crime while protecting the property rights of law-abiding people.”

Starting in January, Ellis will begin work on several Department priority initiatives, including the modernization of the National Asset Forfeiture Strategic Plan, updating the Asset Forfeiture Program’s policy guidance, and improving controls over the use of program funds.

Since November 2015, Ellis has served as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. In that position, he has managed an approximately 100-employee office and helped to coordinate complex white-collar crime prosecutions.  He has also directed the office’s training in response to the Attorney General’s July 2017 Asset Forfeiture policy order.

Ellis previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Asheville Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina, where he prosecuted cases involving federal lands, drug smuggling, firearm offenses, and violent crime. Mr. Ellis has also coordinated the District’s efforts to fight white-collar fraud, computer hacking, and intellectual property theft. Before becoming a federal prosecutor, he served as an Assistant District Attorney for the 29th Prosecutorial District in North Carolina for eight years.

Ellis received his J.D. from the University of Memphis in Tennessee with awards in trial advocacy and tax law, and his B.A. from Brown University.

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