On May 15, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Preet Bharara to become the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Mr. Bharara's nomination was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 7, 2009, and he was sworn in on August 13, 2009.
As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Bharara oversees the investigation and litigation of all criminal and civil cases brought on behalf of the United States in the Southern District of New York, which encompasses New York, Bronx, Westchester, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Sullivan counties. He supervises an office of more than 220 Assistant U.S. Attorneys, who handle a high volume of cases that include domestic and international terrorism, narcotics and arms trafficking, white collar crime, public corruption, gang violence, organized crime, and civil rights violations.
As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Bharara has applied renewed focus on large-scale, sophisticated financial frauds by creating two new units – the Complex Frauds Unit and the complementary Civil Frauds Unit. The Civil Frauds Unit has collected close to $500 million in settlements since its inception, including multi-million dollar settlements with Deutsche Bank and CitiMortgage for faulty lending practices and other fraudulent conduct.
In addition to prosecuting financial fraud, the Complex Frauds Unit is tasked with addressing the threat of cybercrime and has prosecuted core members of the computer hacking groups, LulzSec and Anonymous. Together with the FBI, the office also recently announced the largest international takedown of defendants allegedly engaged in the theft of personal identification information and other crimes over the Internet.
Recognizing the growing nexus between international narcotics trafficking and terrorism, Mr. Bharara merged two previously independent units to form the Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. The Unit works closely with partner agencies and international law enforcement, and is responsible for prosecuting leaders and associates of organizations that engage in transnational acts of terrorism, narco-terrorism, narcotics trafficking, and money laundering.
Under Mr. Bharara's supervision, the office continues to combat corruption in city and state government. The office remains at the forefront of prosecuting corruption in Albany and at the local level, bringing charges and securing convictions against multiple elected officials and other corrupt public servants. The office also has prosecuted more than 500 members and associates of various gangs operating in the Bronx, Newburgh, Yonkers and other areas in an effort to make communities in the Southern District safer for residents.
Since Mr. Bharara's appointment as