United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger Announces Resignation
(STL.News) United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger announced that he will resign from his position as the chief law enforcement officer for the Eastern District of Wisconsin on February 20, 2021. After his departure, Krueger plans to join a private law firm. Richard G. Frohling, who has served as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney during Krueger’s tenure, will become the Acting U.S. Attorney.
“Serving as United States Attorney has been the greatest privilege of my professional life,” said U.S. Attorney Krueger. “In the past three years, we faced unprecedented challenges, including the longest government shutdown in history, a global pandemic, and turbulent civil unrest. The dedicated professionals in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, together with our selfless federal, tribal, state, and law enforcement partners, met each challenge with grit, integrity, and an unwavering commitment to justice. I could not be more grateful or proud to have worked alongside such talented and committed public servants.”
The Eastern District of Wisconsin comprises 28 counties with a population of approximately 3.3 million people. The United States Attorney’s Office (“the Office”), with locations in Milwaukee and Green Bay, has over 80 employees, including attorneys and support staff. The Office and is responsible for conducting all criminal and civil litigation in the district involving the United States government.
“U.S. Attorney Krueger has been a true partner in our joint law enforcement mission of keeping the citizens of Wisconsin safe,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Hughes. “We wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors.”
“United States Attorney Krueger has always represented the citizens of the Eastern District of Wisconsin with poise and professionalism,” complimented ATF Special Agent in Charge Kristen de Tineo of the Chicago Field Division. “His dedication to ensuring the safety of the communities he served was always his first priority, and I wish him continued success in his future endeavors.”
“Matt Krueger has honorably served as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, tirelessly working to protect communities from the effects of drug trafficking and drug-related violence,” said Robert J. Bell, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Chicago Division. “His office effectively prosecuted violent drug trafficking crimes, while ensuring equity in all matters and fairness to all people. Matt’s steadfast leadership and partnership will be missed.”
“On behalf of the United States Marshals Service, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to U.S. Attorney Matthew Krueger,” said United States Marshal Anna Ruzinski. “Matt placed himself at the forefront of the fight against violent crime in the City of Milwaukee and throughout the Eastern District of Wisconsin.”
“As soon as Matt Krueger took office, he began tremendous efforts to build and nurture the relationships our Wisconsin law enforcement community now enjoys with the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Brian O’Keefe, Administrator, Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation. “I can honestly say I have never seen a stronger partnership between law enforcement in our state and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices than we have seen in the last three years, in both the Eastern and Western Districts.”
Under Krueger’s leadership, the U.S. Attorney’s Office brought numerous impactful prosecutions, recovered over $85 million dollars in criminal and civil cases, and defended the federal government’s interests vigorously in litigation. The Office hired dozens of new staff, increased diversity within the Office, and added prosecutors in Green Bay to better serve the district’s northern counties. In multiple areas, the Office had significant achievements:
National Security & Cyber Crime. Under U.S. Attorney Krueger’s leadership, the Office pursued DOJ’s top priority of national security. The Office obtained the first international terrorism convictions in the district’s history (U.S. v. Jason Ludke et al.; U.S. v. Waheba Dais). The Office confronted the growing threat of cyber crime, successfully prosecuting individuals such as Marcus Hutchins, who created banking malware that affected victims worldwide. The Office also secured the conviction of Resit Tavin, a Turkish businessman, for smuggling Wisconsin-made marine products to Iran for use in the Iranian navy. Building on DOJ’s China Initiative, Krueger worked with the FBI to initiate outreach to businesses at risk of economic espionage.
Public Corruption. The Office brought important cases to protect government integrity under U.S. Attorney Krueger’s tenure. These included convictions of a corporation and six individuals—including an accountant whose trial Krueger handled personally– for a wide-ranging scheme to illegally obtain over $260 million in federal contracts that were set aside for minority-owned and disabled veteran-owned small businesses (U.S. v. Ganos). The Office also successfully prosecuted Nicole Doxator, a Milwaukee County employee, for diverting public funds; Willie Wade, a former Milwaukee alderman, for a fraud scheme in which he purported to sell access to a current alderman; and John LaFave, the Milwaukee County Register of Deeds for a scheme to subvert the County’s procurement rules.
Healthcare Fraud. Given the $1.2 trillion in annual federal healthcare spending, U.S. Attorney Krueger prioritized healthcare fraud enforcement. He created a dedicated team of prosecutors to pursue healthcare fraud using civil and criminal enforcement tools. The Office also improved its use of data analytics to identify indicia of fraud. As a result, the Office increased its healthcare fraud cases, including a settlement with Aurora Health Care, Inc. for improper payments to physicians, a settlement with Walgreens Co. for improper prescription drug claims, and multiple cases of illegal kickback schemes (U.S. v. Center for Pain Management, S.C.; U.S. v. Advanced Pain Management; U.S. v. David Guerrero).
Financial Fraud. The Office also successfully prosecuted a range of fraud that victimized the private sector, including a $9 million “green energy” investment scheme (U.S. v. Ronald Van Den Heuvel), and a $30 million scheme involving financing of luxury vehicles (U.S. v. Albert Golant). The Office placed particular emphasis crimes that targeted vulnerable victims such the elderly (U.S. v. Edward Matthes; U.S. v. Chris Kubiak; U.S. v. James Nickels).
Violent Crime & Gangs. The Office continued its commitment to reduce violent crime throughout the district, in urban, rural, and tribal areas. Upon becoming U.S. Attorney, Krueger established a Violent Crime Team with prosecutors focused on armed robberies, firearms offenses, and violent gangs. Through initiatives like Project Safe Neighborhoods, Project Guardian, and Operation Legend, substantial enforcement and prevention resources came to Milwaukee and other cities suffering from spikes in violent crime. These included resources for crime victims, focused deterrence programs, and prisoner reentry programs to prevent further violent crime.
Combatting the Drug Epidemic. U.S. Attorney Krueger led multifaceted efforts to confront the ongoing drug crisis. Krueger established an Opioid Task Force that sent warning letters to outlier opioid prescribers and brought enforcement actions in the most egregious cases (U.S. v. Steven Kotsonis; Mehran Heydarpour civil settlement; U.S. v. Lisa Hofschulz). With partners, the Office launched a public awareness campaign and hosted two statewide Opioid and Meth Summits that brought together over 600 treatment, prevention, and enforcement professionals. In multiple cases, the Office brought charges to take down largescale drug-trafficking organizations with ties to Puerto Rico and Mexico, as well as traffickers on the dark web.
Civil Rights. Under U.S. Attorney Krueger’s leadership, the Office continued DOJ’s proud legacy of protecting civil rights. With the rise of extremist ideologies, the Office charged Chadwick Grubbs for threatening the Jewish Community Center and Yousef Barasneh for vandalizing a synagogue. The Office continued its long-standing practices of reviewing law enforcement officers’ use of force. The Office actively enforced the Americans with Disabilities Act, obtaining agreements from businesses to provide accommodations and restitution to victims. The Office conducted outreach to raise awareness about racial and national origin discrimination in housing; hate crimes; sexual harassment in housing; voting rights; and illegal burdens on religious freedom.
Human Trafficking & Child Exploitation. U.S. Attorney Krueger reinforced the Office’s commitment to combatting human trafficking and child exploitation. The Office ranked among the nation’s busiest in charging sex trafficking, forced labor, and child pornography offenses. The Office also helped lead an interagency human trafficking task force, contributed to trainings throughout the district, and co-sponsored a statewide conference to build capacity among law enforcement and service providers.
Defending the United States in Civil Litigation. The Office also continued to vigorously defend federal agencies and officials in a wide range of civil litigation. U.S. Attorney Krueger increased the Civil Division’s personnel, enhancing the Office’s ability to advance the government’s interests and protect taxpayers’ funds.