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    01.23.14 Three BLS Graduates Receive 2013 Prosecutor of the Year Awards
    Brooklyn Law School facade

    Claire S. Kedeshian ’89 and Carolyn Pokorny '94, both Assistant U.S. Attorneys at the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York, and Steven G. Sanders '95, Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey, were awarded a Federal Law Enforcement Foundation (FELF) "Prosecutor of the Year Award" in November 2013. FLEF’s annual awards ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria recognizes excellence in service during the preceding year.

    During her over 15 year tenure with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, Civil Division, Asset Forfeiture Unit, Kedeshian has prosecuted a wide variety of criminal and civil asset forfeiture and money laundering cases. 

    She has been awarded the prestigious Henry L. Stimson Medal from the City Bar Association and is a two-time recipient of the Attorney General Director’s Award for her work on civil racketeering and international narcotics forfeiture cases. She has also been honored with the United States Department of Justice’s John Marshall Award for outstanding achievement in asset forfeiture.  In 2013, Kedeshian was a recipient of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York’s Community Service Award for her outreach and non-profit efforts outside her commitment to public service.  Kedeshian has been an Adjunct Instructor at BLS teaching legal research and writing, a guest speaker at Brooklyn Law School’s Federal Clinic classes, and an alumni mentor.  

    Kedeshian received the “Prosecutor of the Year” award in recognition of her work on the team that successfully prosecuted former New York State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Soundview Healthcare Network, a non-profit healthcare center in the Bronx. Espada is a former New York State Senator for the 33rd Senate District in the Bronx, and was the State Senate Majority Leader from 2009 to 2010. Kedeshian’s work was focused on the forfeiture piece of the case; Espada was eventually forced to forfeit $368,088.

    Pokorny has been a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn since 1999. She has held various positions within that office, including Chief of Narcotics, Senior Litigation Counsel to the Public Integrity Section, and Chief of General Crimes.  Currently, she is Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, where she supervises over 100 AUSAs in all areas, including white collar crime, terrorism and public corruption. For over a decade, she has been an Adjunct Associate Professor of Clinical Law at Brooklyn Law School. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Pokorny was a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Arthur D. Spatt, and an Assistant D.A. in the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.

    Pokorny also received the “Prosecutor of the Year” award in recognition of her work as co-lead counsel on Espada case. In May 2012, Pokorny and the rest of her team helped persuade a Brooklyn jury to convict Espada of four counts of stealing. Three months later, she helped negotiate Espada’s plea of guilty to lying on his 2005 tax return.  In June 2013, Espada was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, 100 hours of community service, $118,531 in restitution, as well as $368,088 in forfeiture. 

    Sanders has been with the U.S. Attorney’s Office Appeals Division in Newark, New Jersey since 2007. He previously was in private practice as a partner at the firm of Arseneault, Fasset & Mariano and as an associate with Arkin Schaffer & Kaplan, and at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Immediately following law school he was a law clerk to the Honorable Robert E. Cowen of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

    Sanders received the “Prosecutor of the Year” award for participating in the prosecution and conviction of former prosecutor and defense attorney Paul Bergrin on various charges including racketeering and murder.  This case required two successful Government appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (both of which he argued) before culminating in a verdict.