United States Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg spoke to our club Monday May 14, 2018.  He was appointed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions as the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida on December 29, 2017.  The Southern District of Florida ranges from Key West in the south to Sebring in the north, including offices in Miami, Ft Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce.  The team includes 220 attorneys and over 200 professional staff.  Ben told us that the offices have all federal investigative agencies available to them, such as FBI, DEA, ATF, ICE, IRS, USPS, but mostly investigations and support activity is accomplished by local law enforcement, such as city, county or state law enforcement.  Ben was very complimentary of local law enforcement and mentioned that this week is National Police Week.
Some of the top priorities in the Southern District of Florida are terrorists (especially self radicalized via internet), identity theft and fraud (especially white collar access to data), and narcotics abuse (especially over prescribing, fraudulent prescription, and smuggling).  Ben indicated that the internet makes discovery of terrorist activity (no travel to mid-east for training with online videos available) especially difficult to discover.  When asked about early discovery of potential mass violence, he explained the legal limitation of not be able to make criminal charges prior to crime occurrence, but current systems may always need review and improvement for monitoring, warning communication, and preparation for handling events.
Prior to this appointment, Mr. Greenberg served as the Acting United States Attorney beginning in March 2017 and has been the First Assistant United States Attorney since 2010. He previously held a number of leadership positions in the Office, including serving as the first Chief of the newly created Special Prosecutions Section, where he oversaw the Office’s efforts to combat violent crime, child exploitation, and human trafficking.  In 2009, Mr. Greenberg became Chief of the Narcotics Section. In that capacity, he supervised the prosecution of international and domestic narcotics and money laundering cases, as well as violations of the Bank Secrecy Act.
Mr. Greenberg joined the United States Attorney’s Office in 2000 and has handled a wide variety of complex, challenging, and high-profile white collar, violent crime, narcotics, and organized crime cases. He was the lead prosecutor in a series of significant cases against various Israeli organized crime figures extradited to the United States. In recognition of these efforts, Mr. Greenberg received a national award from the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. Mr. Greenberg was also part of the trial team that prosecuted the President and Chief Executive Officer of a well-known financial institution for securities and bank fraud arising from a complex international accounting fraud scheme. The Daily Business Review recognized Mr. Greenberg as one of the community’s most effective lawyers for his work on this case.
Mr. Greenberg served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jon Phipps McCalla in Memphis, Tennessee after graduating from the Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to law school, Mr. Greenberg received a fellowship from the Rotary Foundation to study in Jerusalem, Israel after graduating with honors from the University of Pennsylvania.