FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Richard C. Pilger

U.S. Department of Justice
Director, Elections Crimes Branch, Criminal Division
Washington, DC, USA

Richard C. Pilger serves as Director of the Election Crimes Branch (and was previously a Senior Trial Attorney) in the Public Integrity Section of Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice. Mr. Pilger has over twenty-five years of legal experience following his graduation magna cum laude from Indiana University School of Law at Bloomington, and his undergraduate work at the University of Notre Dame. He began his career as a law clerk to the Honorable James T. Moody, a United States District Court Judge sitting both in the Northern District of Indiana and by designation on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. From his clerkship, where he handled an active and complex federal criminal docket, Mr. Pilger entered the Justice Department through the Attorney General’s Honors Program, and immediately joined the Public Integrity Section, where he currently consults on federal criminal election cases nationwide. 

Prior to assuming his duties for election crimes, Mr. Pilger directly handled investigations, prosecutions, and appeals across the complete spectrum of public corruption matters at all levels and in all branches of government. Some his notable cases include United States v. Spargo, N.D.N.Y. (judicial extortion); United States v. Siegelman & Scrushy, et al., (M.D. Al.) (former Governor and former CEO of HealthSouth convicted of bribery and obstruction of justice); United States v. Plowman, (S.D. Ind.) (Indianapolis city council and police extortion); United States v. Zachares, (D.D.C.) (former senior congressional staffer convicted of honest services fraud involving Jack Abramoff); United States v. West, et al., (E.D. Va.) (fraud and bank theft ring operated by CIA employees); United States v. Carroll, et al., (N.D. Ill.) (first modern conviction of U.S. Foreign Service Officer for overseas bribery conspiracy); Operation Lost Trust, (D.S.C.) (legislative bribery in South Carolina); and Operation BOPTROT, (E.D. Ky.) (legislative bribery in Kentucky); United States v. Newsome, et al., (E.D. Ky.) (vote-buying conspiracy). Mr. Pilger has received numerous awards for his corruption prosecutions, including the Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award, and the Assistant Attorney General's Award for Outstanding Trial Advocacy.

Mr. Pilger has also served in temporary assignments for the Department, including stints as the Legal Advisor at the United States Embassy in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, where he headed anti-corruption assistance to the Georgian government, and as a Special Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting numerous jury trials of street crime in the District of Columbia.


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