United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman Submits Letter of Resignation
United States Attorney Weisman commented, “Serving as United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island has been the greatest honor of my career. I am indebted to the hard working, dedicated, and conscientious professionals with whom I have had the privilege to work alongside at the United States Attorney’s Office, and who, day in and day out, carry out the Office’s critical justice mission – ensuring the just prosecution of federal-law violations, and that justice be achieved in the civil lawsuits brought by and against the federal government. I have no doubt that the Office, working together with its outstanding federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, will continue its exemplary service to all Rhode Islanders.”
Pursuant to the Vacancies Reform Act, with the departure of United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, First Assistant United States Attorney Richard B. Myrus will become Acting United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island. In his capacity as Acting United States Attorney, Mr. Myrus serves as the chief Federal law enforcement officer for the District of Rhode Island.
Appointed an Assistant United States Attorney in May 2007, Mr. Myrus has served as a prosecutor in the Criminal Division’s drug, gun and white collar crime units, and as a civil litigator in the office’s Civil Division. Mr. Myrus was named Civil Division Chief in February 2014. Mr. Myrus has served as First Assistant United States Attorney since January 2018.
Prior to his appointment as an Assistant United States Attorney, Mr. Myrus was a partner in two Boston law firms specializing in patent litigation and served as a law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
A veteran, Mr. Myrus served in the United States Navy as a helicopter aircraft commander and flight instructor.
Mr. Myrus graduated from Columbia University in 1984 and received his M.A. in United States History from the University of California, San Diego in 1992. He earned his law degree from Fordham University Law School in 1995.
Mr. Myrus announced that the leadership team in the United States Attorney’s Office will remain the same.
Sandra R. Hebert – Chief, Criminal Division
Sandra R. Hebert, named Criminal Chief in December 2020, joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island as an Assistant United States Attorney in June 2006. In addition to prosecuting a wide variety of criminal matters, including a number of significant drug and white collar crime cases, Ms. Hebert served as OCEDTF Chief and Criminal Division Deputy Chief. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Rhode Island, Ms. Hebert served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of Texas – Midland Division beginning in 2004.
Ms. Hebert is a 1996 graduate of the University of North Carolina and received her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1999. After earning her law degree, Ms. Hebert served as a Law Clerk for U.S. District Court Judge John D. Rainey in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
Lee H. Vilker – Deputy Chief, Criminal Division
Lee H. Vilker, named Deputy Criminal Chief in December 2020, joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island as an Assistant United States Attorney in June 2002 after serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of New Jersey since May 1999. In his more than two decades as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Vilker has specialized in white-collar fraud and has prosecuted a wide variety of criminal conduct.
Prior to his appointment as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Vilker was employed as a litigation associate in the New York law firm of Proskauer Rose, LLP from 1995-1999. Mr. Vilker also served as law clerk for the Chief Justice of the Israeli Supreme Court from 1995-1996.
Mr. Vilker is a 1990 graduate of Brandeis University and received his law degree from New York University School of Law in 1993, where he received the annual American Jurisprudence Award in Constitutional Law.
Zachary A. Cunha – Chief, Civil Division
Zachary A. Cunha was named Civil Division Chief in February 2018. Prior to being named Civil Division Chief, Mr. Cunha served as the Affirmative Civil Enforcement Coordinator in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island. In that capacity, he was responsible for cases in which the United States, as plaintiff, seek to vindicate governmental interests, combat fraud, and recover funds under the Federal False Claims Act. Prior to joining the Rhode Island office in 2014, Mr. Cunha served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Massachusetts for five years.
Mr. Cunha began his career with the Justice Department in the Eastern District of New York, where he served as an Assistant United States Attorney from 2005-2008. Before joining the Department, Mr. Cunha worked as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of New York, representing the City and its officers in federal litigation.
Mr. Cunha received his Bachelor of Arts, with honors, from Brown University in 1998, and his Juris Doctorate, also with honors, from the George Washington University Law School in 2001.
Lauren S. Zurier – Appellate Chief
Lauren S. Zurier was appointed an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of Appeals in December 2019, where she handles the District’s criminal cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston.
Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office, Ms. Zurier practiced for four years at law firms in Boston and Providence before joining the Office of the Rhode Island Attorney General in 1993 as an appellate prosecutor. Between 1993 and 2019, Ms. Zurier litigated over 180 appellate cases in the Rhode Island Supreme Court.
Ms. Zurier received her bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard University in 1984, and her law degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1987. After graduating from law school, Ms. Zurier served as a law clerk for Senior U.S. District Court Judge Frank Kaufman in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.