WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Monday, January 4, United States Attorney Nick Hanna announced that he will resign from his position as the chief federal prosecutor for the Central District of California. Hanna oversaw approximately 280 Assistant U.S. Attorneys who staff the largest Justice Department in the United States outside of Washington D.C. He will conclude his service as United States Attorney on Friday, January 8.
Hanna was appointed interim United States Attorney in January 2018 by United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions. President Donald Trump later nominated Hanna to be the United States Attorney in February 2018 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 26, 2018.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the 20 million people in our district for the last three years,” Hanna said. “I have seen first-hand government at its best, with our talented lawyers and staff working side-by-side with our brave federal, state and local law enforcement partners in pursuit of justice. While we’ve had many significant accomplishments during my tenure, all of the credit for these successes belongs to these hardworking and dedicated professionals.”
“The work we have done together has resonated throughout our district, across the nation and around the world. We have worked tirelessly to bring criminals to justice, provide recourse to people whose rights have been violated, and defend the United States and its citizens from adversaries both foreign and domestic. We’ve achieved this despite the challenges of the longest federal government shutdown in history, widespread social unrest, and a pandemic that has upended our lives. Over the past three years, our office has lived up to its proud legacy of pursuing justice without fear or favor, and I am profoundly humbled to have had the opportunity to lead one of the premier U.S. Attorney’s offices in the country.”
Under Hanna’s leadership, federal prosecutors conducted an investigation that focused on a pay-to-play scheme at Los Angeles City Hall, resulting in criminal charges against two former city councilmen, a former deputy mayor, and a billionaire real estate developer, among others.
The office helped stand up an Opioid Overdose Response Team to target narcotics traffickers who sell drugs that result in fatal overdoses. The program resulted in approximately one dozen prosecutions, including the case against West Hollywood resident Ed Buck and those who allegedly provided the drugs that killed rapper Mac Miller.
Also under Hanna’s leadership, fraud prosecutors worked with lawyers in the office’s Civil Division to negotiate a $3 billion settlement with Wells Fargo to resolve allegations that the bank engaged in fraudulent sales practices for over a decade. The office also brought charges against more than 300 gang members, including MS-13 members accused of committing a series of murders.
On the national security front, under Hanna’s leadership, the office assisted in the shut down of one of the world largest dark web marketplaces, convicted at trial, a Chinese researcher on economic espionage charges, and indicted a suspected domestic terrorist who allegedly plotted to bomb a political rally in Long Beach. Prosecutors also brought charges against a North Korean operative for the alleged hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment and other high-profile targets.
First Assistant United States Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison will serve as Acting United States Attorney once Hanna’s resignation goes into effect.
The Central District of California is comprised of the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo. It is the largest federal district in the nation.