David Dugas releases statement on leaving U.S. attorney post

BATON ROUGE, LA - United States Attorney David R. Dugas announced today (April 21) that he will relinquish his position as United States Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana effective April 24, 2010, to enter the private practice of law with a national law firm that has offices in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

"Serving as United States Attorney has been the greatest honor and most rewarding experience of my professional career," Dugas stated. "I have had the privilege of serving alongside dedicated and professional public servants in the United States Attorney's Office and in the federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in this district and across the country. I owe a deep debt of gratitude to President Bush and to President Obama for allowing me to serve the cause of justice in their administrations."

Dugas was appointed United States Attorney by President George W. Bush and took office October 17, 2001, only five weeks after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. He was appointed Director of the National Center for Disaster Fraud (formerly the Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force National Command Center) by Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher in December of 2005 and personally directed the design, creation and operation of the Command Center since its inception.

As U.S. Attorney, Dugas has supervised prosecutions of major drug trafficking organizations, environmental crimes, white collar crimes, public corruption, disaster fraud, procurement fraud, international economic espionage, identity theft, computer intrusion and hacking, credit card theft, access device fraud, civil rights violations, sexual exploitation of children, gun trafficking crimes, bank fraud, accounting fraud, health care fraud, disaster fraud and other violations of federal law.

Dugas spearheaded the creation of a dedicated FBI Public Corruption squad in Baton Rouge as well as the FBI's Public Corruption and White Collar Crime Task Force. Dugas and his office currently host one of only seven HEAT Medicare Fraud Strike Forces operating in the United States.

As Director of the National Center for Disaster Fraud, Dugas has helped coordinate disaster fraud prevention and investigation for the entire nation. The Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force has been recognized by the Department of Justice as the most successful task force of its kind in the history of the Department of Justice and has prosecuted over 1,300 defendants in 47 federal judicial districts around the country.

The National Center for Disaster Fraud currently coordinates disaster fraud prevention and investigations for all Presidential disaster declarations in the United States and for major international disasters such as the recent Haiti and Chile earthquakes. In 2009, the NCDF began working with the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board to coordinate anti-fraud efforts related to the economic stimulus funding approved by Congress in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Dugas has also served as the Chair of the Attorney General's Environmental Issues Advisory Subcommittee and as the Co-Chair of the Environmental Crimes Policy Committee of the Department of Justice since January of 2006. In those positions, Dugas helped shape national environmental enforcement policy for the Department of Justice.

Dugas has received national recognition for his service as U.S. Attorney over the last eight years. In 2005, Dugas was named national U.S. Attorney of the Year by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers' Association. In 2006, Dugas was awarded the Attorney General's Distinguished Service Medallion, the second highest award given by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Also in 2006, Dugas was awarded the Distinguished Service Plaque by the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency for his national leadership of the Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force. That same year, Dugas' office was awarded the Director's Award for Superior Public Service by the Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys.

In 2004 Dugas was named Prosecutor of the Year by the Louisiana Crimes Victim Alliance. In March of this year Dugas received the 2010 Outstanding Service in Prosecution Award from the Louisiana Chapter of the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association.

Dugas is a 1978 "Order of the Coif" graduate of LSU Law School. While in law school, Dugas served as Associate Editor of the Louisiana Law Review and as a member of the Moot Court Board of Student Advisors. Dugas was inducted into the LSU Law School Hall of Fame in 1987.

Dugas has served as U.S. Attorney for eight and one-half years, making him the longest serving U.S. Attorney in the history of the Middle District of Louisiana.