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Ellis appointed to lead 
asset forfeiture program

Corey Ellis Corey Ellis

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced that Corey Ellis, first assistant U.S. Attorney of the Western District of North Carolina, will serve as the director of Asset Forfeiture Accountability in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General.

Pursuant to a memorandum from Attorney General Jeff Sessions in October, Ellis, a former Henderson County prosecutor, will coordinate the Department’s Asset Forfeiture Program, including reviewing complaints and ensuring compliance with the law.

“Many criminals transfer ill-gotten gains to relatives or friends, and others use couriers to transport cash,” Rosenstein said. “Civil asset forfeiture helps prevent crime by enabling the government to recover property when prosecuting the person caught holding it may not be appropriate or feasible. Given his personal experience handling complex asset forfeiture litigation and his superb reputation as a manager, Corey Ellis will strengthen the Justice Department’s Asset Forfeiture Program and help us prevent crime while protecting the property rights of law-abiding people.”

Starting in January, Ellis will begin work on several department priority initiatives, including the modernization of the National Asset Forfeiture Strategic Plan, updating the Asset Forfeiture Program’s policy guidance, and improving controls over the use of program funds.
A native of East Tennessee, Ellis received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and law degree from the University of Memphis with awards in trial advocacy and tax law. After graduation, he served for eight years as a prosecutor in the 29th District under District Attorney Jeff Hunt. He went to the U.S. Attorney’s office in 2005. Since November 2015, Ellis has served as the first assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. In that position, he has managed an approximately 100-employee office and helped to coordinate complex white-collar crime prosecutions and cases involving federal lands, drug smuggling, firearm offenses and violent crime. He also directed the office’s training in response to the attorney general’s July 2017 Asset Forfeiture policy order.

Ellis, who lives in Hendersonville, will relocate to Washington for the new job.