Ex-DOJ Attorney Sentenced to Prison for ‘Most Serious’ Corruption Case in Recent History

Months before leaving the Department of Justice, former corporate-fraud prosecutor Jeffrey Wertkin stole government documents and tried to sell them to defendants in federal lawsuits.

Wertkin’s theft of more than 40 whistleblower fraud cases in 2016 and attempts to sell the secret information to companies under federal investigation, was the “most serious” example of public corruption by a U.S. Department of Justice attorney in years, according to prosecutors.

“Mr. Wertkin has betrayed the trust placed in him by the Department of Justice, his colleagues, and the American people,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Alex Tse. “Today’s sentence hopefully restores the confidence in public servants who take an oath to serve their government and demonstrates that no one is above the law. Those who run afoul of the rules established to ensure the proper function of government will be prosecuted without fear or favor.”

Wertkin was arrested on January 31, 2017, after traveling from the Washington, D.C. Area to the San Francisco Bay Area with a copy of a sealed complaint. On that day, Wertkin believed he was meeting at a Cupertino hotel with a representative from a company and that he was exchanging the complaint for a duffel bag filled with $310,000. In truth, Wertkin was meeting with an undercover employee of the FBI. Wertkin described the meeting in his sentencing memorandum as follows: “As part of his escapist fantasy, Mr. Wertkin donned a wig and sunglasses and went to a hotel in Sunnyvale with complaint in hand, whereupon he was arrested by the FBI.”

In November of 2017, Wertkin pled guilty to charges of obstruction of justice and transportation of stolen property. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison earlier this month.

Posted in The Takedown

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