Gene Rossi leverages the skills he honed as a federal prosecutor to concentrate on matters related to white collar criminal defense and government investigations. With nearly three decades of criminal and civil litigation experience at the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).
During his DOJ career, Gene had more than 110 federal trials (including an unprecedented 90 jury trials) in U.S. district and bankruptcy courts. From 1989-2001, he worked in the Tax Division, trying complex civil and criminal matters and serving on an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).
In 2001, he became an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA), which is known as the “Rocket Docket.” There, he led and supervised a vast array of significant investigations involving the opioid crisis, OCDETF, murder, health care, tax, immigration, public corruption, terrorism, and the environment.
Gene also served as Deputy Chief of the Narcotics Unit; and later as Chief of the Specials Unit, where he trained more than 1,000 new prosecutors in the Rocket Docket and at DOJ’s National Advocacy Center. In EDVA alone, he had a record 65 felony jury trials. Because of his many high-profile trials, the Alexandria office of EDVA set aside a special area in his honor called the “Gene Rossi War Room.”
One of his most notable matters was OCDETF Operation “Cotton Candy,” the largest opioid investigation in DOJ history, with more than 200 convictions of doctors, pharmacists, nurses, patients, and dealers. As part of Cotton Candy, Gene had numerous EDVA trials, including two lengthy jury trials against a prominent pain management doctor (William Hurwitz), who prescribed 1,200 oxycodone pills daily to one patient alone. Gene’s two Dr. Hurwitz trials and other Cotton Candy cases served as the basis for a 2016 Hollywood documentary (“Dr. Feelgood”).
Gene’s other prominent DOJ matters included a major civil tax trial against a Chicago alderman, the OCDETF trial of a violent murderer (responsible for more than 30 deaths), and the prosecution of Commanding General Sekouba Konate of the 54-nation African Union, who pleaded guilty to charges of false statements and smuggling cash into the United States that he had received when he was President of Guinea.
Gene’s courtroom achievements have earned him numerous commendations, including the FBI Washington Field Office’s Career Achievement Award in 2016 — the only time the award has ever been presented to a prosecutor. He also received the following DOJ honors: a Tax Division Outstanding Attorney Award in 1993; a Director’s Award in 2005; and a DEA Administrator’s Award for his lead role in Operation Cotton Candy.
Gene’s passion for teaching extends beyond his training of more than the 1,000 DOJ prosecutors. He has taught legal writing and ethics at American University Law School, constitutional law and criminal procedure at George Mason University, and trial advocacy at Harvard Law School.
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