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Lesko announces key federal prosecutor appointments for the Eastern District

Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Mark

Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Mark J. Lesko at the offices at Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn in 2019. Credit: Linda Rosier

Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Mark Lesko announced on Monday a number of key appointments involving federal prosecutors with deep roots on Long Island.

Lesko named as his chief assistant Jacquelyn Kasulis, the second-in-command of the office’s Criminal, Civil, Administrative and Appeals divisions.

Kasulis was born on Long Island and had lived in Mineola, where her father was a doctor at Winthrop University Hospital, until she was 5 years old and her family moved to Florida.

She joined the office in 2008 and was most recently the chief of the criminal division. Among her noted cases was the successful prosecution of pharmaceutical manufacturer Martin Shkreli for a number of frauds.

Kasulis also led the office's investigation and prosecution of two former Goldman Sachs bankers and a Malaysian financier in a multibillion-dollar money laundering and bribery conspiracy case. The resolution of the case, in part, involved Goldman Sachs agreeing to pay $2.9 billion in penalties, "the largest penalty ever paid to U.S. authorities in a foreign bribery case," Lesko said.

Replacing Kasulis, Lesko named Nicole Boeckmann, the longtime chief of the office’s Long Island division.

Boeckmann, a former Manhattan assistant district attorney, joined the office in 2004 and was one of prosecutors whose work led to the convictions of former Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota and a chief aide, Christopher McPartland. Among her other numerous cases have been prosecutions of gangs on Long Island

Lesko also named John Durham as the acting chief of the Long Island office, replacing Boeckmann.

"For over a decade, John has spearheaded efforts to dismantle and disrupt the operations of MS-13 in the EDNY, as well as nationally and internationally," Lesko said.

Durham, who joined the office in 2005, "has led teams … that have arrested and convicted hundreds of MS-13 leaders, members and associates, including dozens who have committed one or more murders," Lesko said.

Durham most recently had been deputy chief of the Long Island Division.

In Durham’s place, Lesko named Catherine Mirabile, who has been a senior trial counsel in the office, as acting deputy chief of the Long Island Division.

Mirabile led the investigation and prosecution of former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and his wife, Linda, as well of that of former Suffolk County Conservative Party leader Edward Walsh, Lesko noted. And for the Civil Rights Section, Lesko named Maria Cruz Melendez as deputy chief.

Melendez is currently part of the team involved in the prosecution of the entertainer known as R. Kelly, charged with being the head of a criminal enterprise accused of racketeering, bribery, child sexual exploitation, sexual assault, kidnapping, transportation of minors and forced labor.

In addition to Long Island, the Eastern District also is responsible for federal law enforcement in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, with 175 prosecutors based in Central Islip and Brooklyn.

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