U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon
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News Releases
Springfield Man Pleads Guilty for Distributing Marijuana on the Dark Web and Laundering Proceeds - 01/21/22

Correction (1.21.22): Please note the corrected spelling of defendant's last name below. O'Neill has two L's.

PORTLAND, Ore.—On January 18, 2022, a Springfield, Oregon man pleaded guilty for distributing marijuana on the dark web and laundering his cryptocurrency proceeds.

Robert Kelly O’Neill, 59, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana and money laundering.

According to court documents, beginning around January 2016, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) began investigating the widespread importation and online distribution of controlled substances on dark web marketplaces. As part of the investigation, HSI and USPIS exposed widespread laundering of illicit digital currency proceeds across the country, including in Oregon. 

The investigation uncovered a money laundering operation involving a dark net vendor, GOLD, who exchanged Bitcoin for cash. GOLD received Bitcoin from customers and, in exchange for a fee, would mail or ship cash to a physical mailing address provided by the customer.

As the investigation continued, agents identified an individual using the alias “Resinate” who employed GOLD’s money laundering services. Resinate used various addresses, including several Oregon addresses, to receive cash shipments. Following delivery of the cash packages, known and unknown coconspirators would retrieve and deliver the packages to Resinate.

In October 2016, GOLD was arrested and an HSI agent in New York assumed his identity and continued conducting deals with Resinate. Between September 2015 and May 2018, Resinate laundered more than $725,000 in illicit proceeds through GOLD and another $167,000 in Bitcoin through a co-conspirator in Springfield. In addition, records from the dark web sites Silk Road and Silk Road 2.0 confirmed that, in 2013 and 2014, Resinate earned $390,000 in Bitcoin from the sale of marijuana.

In June 2018, law enforcement executed numerous federal search warrants at nominee house addresses and on O’Neill’s Springfield residence. Investigators discovered a marijuana processing and packaging operation in O’Neill’s garage and seized dozens of computers and electronic storage devices from O’Neill’s residence. Agents also found handwritten notes identifying O’Neill as Resinate. A forensic examination of O’Neill’s electronic devices returned Bitcoin wallet addresses, images and details of O’Neill’s various dark web marketplace vendor accounts, encrypted emails between O’Neill and the undercover HSI agent, and cryptocurrency wallet backups. 

In addition to the electronic and physical evidence, investigators identified and seized more than $21,469 in U.S. currency, six Bitcoin, and 458 Bitcoin Cash.

On September 3, 2021, O’Neill was charged by criminal information with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and money laundering. He will be sentenced on April 26, 2022 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. McShane.

Possession with intent to distribute marijuana is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine, and five years’ supervised release. Money laundering is punishable by up to 20 years in prison; a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved, whichever is greater; and three years’ supervised release.

As part of his plea agreement, O’Neill has agreed to forfeit the U.S. currency, Bitcoin, and Bitcoin Cash seized by agents.

U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by HSI, USPIS, IRS Criminal Investigation, in addition to assistance by numerous state and local law enforcement agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gavin W. Bruce prosecuted the case. 

This case is part of Operation Dark Gold, a coordinated, national law enforcement operation, announced in June 2018, that used the first nationwide undercover action to target vendors of illicit goods on the dark web. HSI special agents in New York, in coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, posed as a money launderer on dark web market sites, exchanging U.S. currency for virtual currency. Through this operation, HSI New York identified numerous vendors of illicit goods, leading to more than 90 criminal cases across the country.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release (Updated)
Salem Drug Trafficker Sentenced to Federal Prison - 01/20/22

PORTLAND, Ore.—On January 19, 2022, a Salem, Oregon man on federal supervised release was sentenced to federal prison after he was found in possession of more than 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine and 15 firearms, five of which were stolen.

Jorge Mozqueda-Alvarez, 33, was sentenced to 151 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release.

According to court documents, in September 2019, detectives from the Salem Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit (SCU) began investigating Mozqueda-Alvarez for drug trafficking in the Salem area. Officers conducted two separate controlled purchases of methamphetamine from Mozqueda-Alvarez. On October 15, 2019, SCU executed a search warrant on Mozqueda-Alvarez’s Salem residence and located more than 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine and 15 firearms, five of which had been reported stolen. Mozqueda-Alvarez was arrested without incident.

On October 17, 2019, Mozqueda-Alvarez was charged by federal criminal complaint with illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon and possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine. One week later, on October 24, 2019, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a four-count indictment charging him with distribution of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and felon in possession of a firearm.

On December 18, 2020, Mozqueda-Alvarez pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and felon in possession of a firearm. To resolve a separate criminal case, Mozqueda-Alvarez also pleaded guilty to illegal reentry.

U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the Salem Police Department with assistance from the FBI. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Local Adoption Agency Bookkeeper Sentenced to Federal Prison for Scheme to Defraud Employer and Family - 01/19/22

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Hillsboro, Oregon woman was sentenced to federal prison today for engaging in a multi-year scheme to defraud her employer, a non-profit adoption and surrogacy agency operating in Oregon and Washington, and her extended family.

Melodie Ann Eckland, 56, was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release. She was also ordered to pay more than $1.6 million in restitution.

“Melodie Eckland used her position of trust within a local adoption agency to steal funds intended to help children across the world find loving families. She further stole thousands of dollars from a deceased family member’s estate in a failed attempt to keep her employer from discovering her scheme. Eckland’s selfishness and greed caused great loss and hardship for many people and pushed her employer agency to the brink of insolvency,” said Scott Erik Asphaug, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

“Preying on the trust of her employers, her friends, and her family, Ms. Eckland stole from those who trusted her most. In doing so, Ms. Eckland irreparably hurt local families attempting to do just that – become families,” said Special Agent in Charge Bret Kressin, IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS:CI), Seattle Field Office. “Financial and tax crimes are not victimless, and today’s sentence is justice served for Ms. Eckland’s wanton disregard and theft from those around her.”

According to court documents, from at least 2011 and continuing until April 2018, Eckland was employed as a bookkeeper for a local adoption and surrogacy agency. Her duties included maintaining agency books and records, managing payroll, filing employment tax returns, and paying quarterly employment taxes to the IRS. Eckland also provided financial statements to the agency’s board of directors, but did not have signature authority over the organization’s business bank account.

Eckland used her position to steal funds from the agency by making unauthorized wire transfers and writing unauthorized checks to herself. Eckland also transferred agency funds in the form of bonuses to her personal bank account. To conceal her scheme, Eckland maintained two sets of financial records. One version, which she provided to the board of directors, showed the business books as they should have been maintained. The other version showed the true payments she made to herself over the course of her employment.

To cover the money she had stolen, Eckland applied for loans from at least five lending agencies on behalf of the adoption agency, using the names of the agency’s owners without their permission. Eckland altered agency financial records to make it appear as though she owned the agency and was authorized to enter into the loan agreements. Beginning in 2016, Eckland stopped making the agency’s quarterly employment tax payments to the IRS and stopped filing employment tax returns. As a result, the agency owed more than $94,000 in past due employment taxes.

To further conceal her scheme, Eckland stole funds from a bank account opened on behalf of her deceased brother-in-law’s estate. As executor of the estate, Eckland’s husband was tasked with selling his brother’s assets, paying estate bills, and preserving the remaining funds for the benefit of his brother’s children. Eckland forged her husband’s signature on unauthorized estate checks and made unauthorized wire transfers of estate funds to herself. She sent a portion of the more than $123,000 stolen from the estate to the adoption agency’s bank account to conceal her theft of agency funds.

IRS records indicated that Eckland did not report any of the embezzled funds on her federal income tax returns for 2013, 2014, and 2017. In 2015 and 2016, she reported more than $550,000 as “other income,” but failed to pay the taxes due. Between 2013 and 2017, Eckland failed to report more than $675,000 in income, resulting in a tax loss of more than $345,000. As a result of her scheme, Eckland’s victims—including the adoption agency and its owners, her brother-in-law’s estate, and the IRS—suffered a total loss of more than $1.6 million.

On June 2, 2021, Eckland was charged by criminal information with wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, filing a false tax return, and willfully failing to collect or pay payroll taxes. On June 29, 2021, she pleaded guilty to all four charges.

U.S. Attorney Asphaug and Special Agent in Charge Kressin made the announcement.

This case was investigated by IRS:CI and the Hillsboro Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Claire M. Fay, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
U.S. Attorney's Office Commemorates National Human Trafficking Awareness Day--January 11, 2022 - 01/11/22

PORTLAND, Ore.—Today, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon commemorates National Human Trafficking Awareness Day—January 11, 2022—and joins its federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement partners in declaring a continued commitment to combating all forms of human trafficking.

“More than 150 years have passed since our nation ratified the 13th Amendment, abolishing the cruel and repugnant practice of enslaving humans. And yet, in its modern form of trafficking, this abhorrent crime persists here in the U.S. and across the globe. Combatting human trafficking is a top priority for the Justice Department and our office. Together with our law enforcement partners, we will do everything in our power to end this horrible crime,” said Scott Erik Asphaug, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

“We are a country built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every person. Unfortunately, it’s a promise that we see broken all too often for the most vulnerable among us,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “Victims of labor trafficking and sex trafficking are not only exploited in the worst ways, they also live in constant fear. They wake every morning to threats of violence and outright abuse. Help us help them. If you have information about trafficking in your area, please call us.”

Human trafficking, sometimes referred to as trafficking in persons or modern slavery, is a serious federal crime involving the exploitation of individuals for labor, services, or commercial sex through force, fraud, or coercion. This coercion can be subtle or overt, physical or psychological. Exploitation of a minor for commercial sex is human trafficking, regardless of whether any form of force, fraud, or coercion was used.

Victims of human trafficking can be anyone regardless of race, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, education level, or citizenship status. Although there is no defining characteristic that all human trafficking victims share, traffickers around the world frequently prey on individuals who are poor, vulnerable, living in unsafe or unstable environments, or are in search of a better life.

In the U.S., trafficking victims can be American or foreign citizens. Some of the most vulnerable populations for trafficking in the U.S. include American Indian and Alaska Native communities, LGBTQ individuals, individuals with disabilities, undocumented migrants, runaway and homeless youth, temporary guest-workers, and low-income individuals.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon is committed to continuing its victim-centered, trauma-informed approach to detecting hidden human trafficking crimes, holding perpetrators accountable, and helping to restore the lives of survivors, while strengthening strategic anti-trafficking partnerships.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.

If you believe you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking or may have information about a trafficking situation, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free at 1-888-373-7888 or visit https://humantraffickinghotline.org. You can also text the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 233733.

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Every year since 2010, the President has dedicated the month to raising awareness about the different forms of human trafficking and educating people about this crime and how to spot it. To learn more, visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/12/30/a-proclamation-on-national-human-trafficking-prevention-month-2022/.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Announcement
Salem Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing a Firearm While on Post-Prison Supervision - 01/06/22

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Salem, Oregon man was sentenced to federal prison today for illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

Bernard McEllen Welch, 33, was sentenced to 120 months in prison and three years’ supervised release.

According to court documents, on May 21, 2020, a Salem Police officer pulled a car over for a traffic violation when Welch jumped from the vehicle’s rear passenger door and ran away. The officer called for backup and stayed with the vehicle. A nearby resident alerted police that a man had jumped into his backyard. Officers searched the area and located Welch hiding under a bush. 

After Welch was arrested, officers returned to the home where the resident had reported seeing Welch enter his backyard. They located a discarded pistol with an obliterated serial number and a chambered round. In an adjacent property, they located a loaded magazine compatible with the pistol. Investigators at the Oregon State Forensic Laboratory later matched DNA found on the firearm with a sample collected from Welch.

At the time of his arrest, Welch had prior state felony convictions for assaulting a public safety officer, second-degree robbery with a firearm, third-degree assault, and third-degree robbery.

On August 5, 2020, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a one-count indictment charging Welch with illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. On September 16, 2021, he pleaded guilty to the single charge.

This case was investigated by the Salem Police Department with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Portland Area Drug Trafficker Indicted for Kidnapping and Murder of Washington State Man - 01/06/22

PORTLAND, Ore.—A federal superseding indictment was unsealed today charging a Mexican National residing in Clackamas County, Oregon for his role in the 2019 kidnapping and murder of a Washington State man and other drug trafficking crimes.

Marcos Alonso Castillo-Bernal, 46, has been charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and distribute controlled substances, killing while engaged in drug trafficking, distribution of heroin and methamphetamine, kidnapping resulting in death, conspiracy to commit kidnapping resulting in death, hostage taking resulting in death, conspiracy to commit hostage taking resulting in death, felon in possession of a firearm, and fraud and misuse of a visa.

According to the superseding indictment, beginning on an unknown date and continuing until his arrest in October 2019, Castillo-Bernal conspired with others to traffic and distribute large quantities of heroin and methamphetamine in an around Portland. Castillo-Bernal and his co-conspirators would import large quantities of the illegal narcotics from numerous suppliers to stash houses throughout the metro area where they were processed and prepared for sale.

On or about April 13, 2019, Castillo-Bernal and others kidnapped, held hostage, and murdered Ricardo Corral-Moreno, of Olympia, Washington, and disposed of his body in a rural area near Molalla, Oregon. Castillo-Bernal and his co-conspirators targeted Corral-Moreno because of money Corral-Moreno owed to Castillo-Bernal and others.

Castillo-Bernal made his initial appearance in federal court today before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. He was arraigned, pleaded not guilty, and ordered detained pending a jury trial scheduled to begin on April 12, 2022.

Killing while engaged in drug trafficking, kidnapping resulting in death, and hostage taking resulting in death are all capital offenses with maximum custodial sentences of life in federal prison. Kidnapping and hostage taking resulting in death also carry a mandatory life sentence upon conviction. Killing while engaged in drug trafficking and drug trafficking conspiracy carry mandatory minimum sentences of 20 years and 15 years in federal prison, respectively.

Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and Portland Police Bureau. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This prosecution is the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the U.S. by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Two Portland Gang Members Sentenced to Federal Prison for Illegal Firearm Possession - 01/06/22

PORTLAND, Ore.—This week, in separate criminal cases, two Portland gang members were sentenced to federal prison for illegally possessing firearms as convicted felons.

On January 4, 2022, Timothy DeWayne Smith, Jr., 28, a member of the Hoover Criminal Gang, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman to six months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release.

Today, Derek Brandon Conley, 38, a former Crip gang member, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon to 48 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release.

U.S. v. Smith

According to court documents, as part of an ongoing federal criminal investigation into the racketing activities of the Hoover Criminal Gang, investigators learned of Smith’s involvement in various gang activities including sex trafficking and the illegal possession of firearms. 

On August 24, 2019, law enforcement responded to a report of someone flashing a gun at a local bar. A police air support unit saw Smith run out of the back of the bar and enter a vehicle. Police followed and stopped the vehicle and located a firearm in its center console. Smith denied flashing or possessing the gun. A forensic laboratory report later confirmed the presence of Smith’s DNA on the gun along with the DNA profiles several other people.

Later, on June 10, 2020, Smith was a passenger in a vehicle stopped by Oregon State Police troopers traveling south through Eugene, Oregon. A 9mm semi-automatic pistol with a chambered round was located in the vehicle’s center console. The gun was seized and Smith and the vehicle’s driver were released. Further investigation revealed that the seized firearm belonged to Smith. He was later arrested without incident. 

U.S. v. Conley

In September 2020, probation officers visited Conley’s Portland residence where he lived with his fiancé and three children. Conley, who had recently been released from prison after being convicted in April 2017 in Multnomah County Circuit Court for illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, led the officers to his bedroom where bullets and a laser sight rifle attachment were clearly visible. He consented to a search of the room and officers located a rifle Conley admitted to owning. Two other firearms were found in the residence including one located in an accessible bin in the children’s room adjacent to a toy firearm. Conley was arrested on-site without incident.

These cases were investigated by the FBI and ATF with assistance from the Portland Police Bureau, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Oregon State Police. They were prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
Oregon Man Sentenced to Federal Prison and Ordered to Forfeit Over $18 Million in Stock and Properties After Stealing Millions in Covid-Relief Funds - 01/06/22

EUGENE, Ore.—An Oregon man was sentenced to federal prison today after stealing millions of dollars in loans intended to help small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andrew Aaron Lloyd, 51, of Lebanon, Oregon, was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release. Lloyd was also ordered to pay more than $4 million in restitution and forfeit 25 properties and more than 15,000 shares of Tesla, Inc. stock seized by law enforcement.

Lloyd took advantage of economic relief programs administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), including Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). These programs were authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act provided emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans and small businesses suffering from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to court documents, beginning in April 2020, Lloyd began submitting CARES Act loan applications using numerous business names and personally identification information of relatives and business associates without their consent. Lloyd submitted false documentation to justify the loan amounts requested, including IRS forms listing the 2019 wages purportedly paid by entities controlled by Lloyd. Lloyd claimed these entities paid employees as much as $4.7 million. Lloyd’s loan applications included lists of dozens of purported employees and the total wages paid to each. The loan application packages included some of the same information across the different business entities, including the businesses’ physical locations and the names of several dozen employees.

The IRS forms, the total amount of wages and earnings, the employee names, and the

wages paid to each employee were all created by Lloyd and false.

In total, Lloyd submitted nine PPP loan applications, six of which were accepted, resulting in a payout of more than $3.4 million. Lloyd also applied for numerous EIDLs, of which one was accepted, resulting in an additional $160,000 in payments to Lloyd. 

Upon receipt of the funds, Lloyd purchased real estate and invested in securities. Lloyd transferred more than $1.8 million of the above-described PPP loan funds to his securities brokerage account. Securities Lloyd purchased using the fraudulently acquired funds substantially increased in value. In addition, Lloyd purchased more than 25 properties in Oregon and California with the proceeds of his fraud.   

In January 2021, agents seized Lloyd’s brokerage account, which included 15,740 shares of Tesla, Inc. purchased with proceeds of his fraud. In March 2021, agents seized another account containing more than $660,000 in securities and cash. The securities and cash seized from Lloyd’s accounts are presently valued at more than $18 million.

On January 5, 2021, Lloyd was charged by criminal complaint with wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering. Later, on June 6, 2021, he was charged by superseding criminal information with bank fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft. On June 17, 2021, Lloyd pleaded guilty to all three charges.

An accomplice of Lloyd’s, Russell Anthony Schort, 39, of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, was charged alongside Lloyd for similar conduct. Schort pleaded guilty to bank fraud and, on November 16, 2021, was sentenced to federal prison and ordered to pay $294,552 in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the FBI, the SBA Office of Inspector General, and IRS Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Gavin W. Bruce and Julia Jarrett, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release
USA Asphaug Headshot
USA Asphaug Headshot
Scott Erik Asphaug Appointed to Serve as U.S. Attorney (Photo) - 12/27/21

PORTLAND, Ore.—Attorney General Merrick B. Garland has appointed Scott Erik Asphaug to serve as U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon in an interim capacity, effective December 25, 2021.

Asphaug, who was previously appointed to serve as Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon beginning February 28, 2021, will serve as U.S. Attorney for up to 120 days or until the confirmation of Oregon’s next presidentially-appointed U.S. Attorney by the U.S. Senate. If after 120 days, a new presidentially-appointed U.S. Attorney has not been confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Marco A. Hernández, Chief U.S. District Judge for the District of Oregon, will appoint a U.S. Attorney to serve until such confirmation occurs.

“It is a privilege to serve Oregonians as U.S. Attorney and I look forward to continuing to do so for the next four months or until the confirmation of Oregon’s next presidentially-appointed U.S. Attorney,” said U.S. Attorney Asphaug. “During this time of transition, our office continues to focus intently on our ongoing mission of protecting the safety and wellbeing of all Oregonians.”

Asphaug is a 16-year veteran of the Department of Justice, joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in October 2005. He has held several leadership positions in the district including First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mortgage Fraud Coordinator, Discovery Coordinator, and Professional Responsibility Officer. Asphaug previously served as a line Assistant U.S. Attorney in both the Civil and Criminal Divisions.

Prior to his federal service, Asphaug was a Senior Assistant and Deputy County Attorney in the Multnomah County Attorney’s Office, where he handled tort and medical malpractice litigation. He also served as the advisory attorney to the Multnomah County Sheriff.

Before entering government service, Asphaug spent several years in private practice focused on criminal litigation. During this time, he was empaneled by the Portland Police Officer’s Union to represent officers during use of force administrative and grand jury investigations.

Asphaug received his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Minnesota in 1979 and his law degree from the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College in 1983.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Announcement , USA Asphaug Headshot