States Attorney.

Vipal J. Patel

Vipal J. Patel – State’s Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio

Vipal J. Patel – State’s Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio

A new interim Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official for the Southern District of Ohio has been appointed, assuming leadership over several high-profile cases led by the Office of the United States Attorney. Vipal J. Patel is taking over in the Office as Acting United States Attorney, replacing the outgoing U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers, who has tendered his letter of resignation to President Joe Biden, subsequent to the announcement made by Acting U.S. Attorney General Monty Wilkinson on February 9, 202,1 that requested the remaining 55 Trump-appointed U.S. Attorneys to step down. Such changes in the Offices across the nation are customary in the transition process into the new administration, which allows a swift U.S. Attorney nomination process. By virtue of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, Vipal J. Patel will officially be named Acting U.S. Attorney on March 1, 2021.

 

Appointment

The Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio appoints First Assistant United States Attorney Vipal J. Patel as the new interim Top Federal Prosecutor for the district, replacing the outgoing U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers by virtue of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. Previously appointed by former President Donald Trump, U.S. Attorney DeVillers has submitted his letter of resignation to President Joe Biden pursuant to the announcement made by Acting United States Attorney General Robert M. “Monty” Wilkinson on February 9, 2021, which requested for the remaining 56 Senate-confirmed and presidentially-appointed U.S. Attorneys to step down, as is customary in the transition period into the new administration. The resignation of U.S. Attorney DeVillers will be effective on February 28, 2021. First Assistant U.S. Attorney Patel will take over and begin serving as Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. The appointment of Vipal J. Patel as interim Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official will take effect on March 1, 2021, and shall last for up to 300 days succeeding the date of appointment or until a new U.S. Attorney has been appointed and confirmed by the Biden Administration.

 

Educational Background

Acting United States Attorney Patel had previous plans of attending medical school, earning a degree in Bachelor of Science in Integrated Life Sciences from the Kent State University; however, he, later on, decided to pursue a career in the legal field and had then attended the George Washington University Law School, receiving his Juris Doctorate in 1991.

 

Legal Career – Private Practice

Following his graduation from law school, U.S. Attorney Patel worked in private practice and joined a civil litigation firm in Los Angeles. Later on, in 1999, he was made Partner in the Hancock Rothert & Bunshoft LLP, merged into Duane Morris LLP. In this capacity, U.S. Attorney Vipal Patel was responsible for handling commercial and insurance litigation while being an active volunteer as small claims and traffic judge. Moreover, during his years of service in private practice, Acting U.S. Attorney Patel had consistently devoted time to volunteer work, even taking a one-month leave of absence to serve as a volunteer city criminal prosecutor.

 

Legal Career – Government Service

In the year 2000, Acting U.S. Attorney Vipal Patel shifted to government service and had first joined the Office of the United States Attorney for the Central District of California as an Assistant United States Attorney. For five years, from 2000 to 2005, U.S. Attorney Patal focused on prosecuting civil fraud and criminal matters within the Central District of California, prior to moving back to his hometown and transferring to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio. Within the first few years of his service in the Office, Acting U.S. Attorney Patel served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney within the criminal, civil. Appellate divisions of the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and throughout the15 years that he has dedicated to government service and performing duties in the Office, U.S. Attorney Patel has held several leadership roles, including being the Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio, and subsequently becoming the Chief of the Criminal Division. In 2016, Acting U.S. Attorney Vipal Patel was named the First Assistant United States Attorney to the former U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman and had remained in the position even upon the appointment of former U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers in 2019. Overall, he has served a total of almost five years as second-in-command in the Office, overseeing its daily operations since 2016.

 

Duties Performed Under the U.S. Department of Justice

Apart from handling leadership positions in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio, Acting U.S. Attorney Patel had served as invaluable personnel in the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). In 2011, his presence was requested in Afghanistan. He remained for a year, working as a Civilian Advisor of the U.S. Department of Justice to the Afghan Ministry of Justice and Judiciary, among other governmental and educational institutions. Throughout the year, U.S. Attorney Patel also had to manage anti-corruption and counter-narcotics Rule of Law assignments under the DOJ. On top of the aforementioned crucial task has been designated to him, Acting U.S. Attorney Patel had also previously been called upon by the Department of Justice to serve as an evaluator of the work efficiency of the numerous United States Attorney’s Office across the country. In March of 2015, U.S. Attorney Vipal Patel actively participated in the Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training Program of the Department of Justice. He taught a one-week anti-money laundering course in the Republic of Georgia.

 

Notable Prosecutions Led by Acting U.S. Attorney Patel

Having dedicated more than 15 years in government service, U.S. Attorney Patel has a depth of experience. He has prosecuted a wide variety of criminal and appellate matters. He has led numerous crucial prosecutions, including the case against Laith Waleed Alebbini – an individual who has been proven guilty of attempting to travel to Turkey and then to Syria with the ultimate goal of joining the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which was a designated foreign terrorist organization, and conspire to provide material support and resources to said organization. The successful conviction of Alebbini is said to be a result of the first international terrorism trial in the Southern District of Ohio, and Acting U.S. Attorney Vipal Patel led it.

Another recent, notable prosecution that U.S. Attorney Patel has led is the case against Ethan Kollie. The latter has been convicted after pleading guilty to illegal possession of firearms and drugs, along with helping a friend assemble an illegally obtained gun, which was then used by a said friend in a November 2019 Dayton mass shooting. A 2019 case of child exploitation is also among the prosecutions that U.S. Attorney Vipal Patel led. The investigation and prosecution of the case against Robert Jones made use of the high technology “network investigative technique,” which resulted in the defendant being located on the dark web. He was then criminally prosecuted for child exploitation involving sexual acts against an infant, a toddler, and a number of teen girls.

 

Teaching Background

In addition to his roles and work in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Top Federal Prosecutor Vipal Patel had maintained an active teaching profession. He has been teaching as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Dayton School of Law since 2008. He has shared his experiences and knowledge with law students, particularly in Criminal Procedure-Investigation, Criminal Procedure-Adjudication, Cybercrime Capstone, and International Law. Besides teaching in the University of Dayton School of Law, U.S. Attorney Patel is also an instructor at the National Advocacy Center of the United States Department of Justice in Columbia, SC.

 

Memberships and Organizations

Alongside being an outstanding prosecutor and an active volunteer worker, Acting United States Attorney Vipal Patel is also very much involved in society. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Dayton Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He had previously served as its Treasurer, Secretary, Vice-President, and later on, as its President. Additionally, he is a part of the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in Dayton. He is currently serving on its Board of Trustees and formerly on its Associate Board, and as its President. Among his commitments is coaching youth soccer, wherein he has dedicated the past decade to coaching in the Oakwood United Soccer Club. Currently, U.S. Attorney Patel serves as the Head Coach of the Kroc Center Soccer Club’s boys U11 team, which is a component of the Dayton Salvation Army – a new club soccer program co-founded by U.S. Attorney Patel to bring competitive club soccer to, and serve the needs of, inner-city Dayton.

 

Office Jurisdiction and High-Profile Active Caseload

Functioning, in the meantime, as the Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official for the Southern District of Ohio, Vipal J. Patel endures a lot of obligations such as managing and overseeing a staff of approximately 118 employees, comprising of 67 Assistant U.S. Attorneys and 51 support personal. Furthermore, he is to lead the Office in serving the 48 counties in the State of Ohio, which are within the jurisdiction of the Southern District. The departure of U.S. Attorney DeVillers has also left Acting U.S. Attorney Patel responsible for handling several high-profile cases, including the $60 million bribery probe against the former speaker of the Ohio House and several other individuals. They have allegedly illegally used energy company money for a legislative effort to bail out two aging nuclear power plants. Acting U.S. Attorney Patel also has to lead the federal criminal and civil rights investigation against a Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy involving the fatal shooting of Casey Goodson Jr. and the civil rights investigation of the killing of Andre Hill by a since-fired Columbus Police Officer.

 

Statement by Acting U.S. Attorney Patel Upon Appointment

In a statement released on March 1, 2021, Acting U.S. Attorney Vipal J. Patel noted the difficulty of filling in for the position that former U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers has left vacant but has also claimed to have been humbled and honored to be given such an opportunity. Moreover, he asserts that the casework of the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio will persist uninterrupted.

“These are huge shoes to fill, and I am humbled and honored to fill them. The important work of the public servants in this Office – and their dedication to justice – continues. Our casework will persist uninterrupted,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Patel.

 

Responsibilities of the United States Attorney’s Office

The Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio is responsible for prosecuting federal crimes within the district, particularly those involving child exploitation, drug trafficking, domestic and international cases of terrorism, fraud, human trafficking, illegal firearms, and narcotics, among other violent federal criminal cases. In addition, the Office shall handle civil litigations, wherein the United States is a party and collect debts owed to the United States.

 

Contact Details

Full Name: Vipal J. Patel
District/State: Southern District of Ohio
Public email ID: vipal.patel@usdoj.gov

Columbus Main Office

U.S. Attorney’s Office
303 Marconi Boulevard, Suite 200
Columbus, Oh 43215

(614) 469-5715
Main

(614) 469-5653
Fax

(614) 469-5734
TTY

(888) 529-2820
Victim-Witness Unit

Cincinnati Branch Office

U.S. Attorney’s Office
221 E. Fourth Street, Suite 400
Cincinnati, Oh 45202

(513) 684-3711
Main

(513) 684-6385
Fax

(513) 357-5394
TTY

(888) 283-5715
Victim-Witness Unit

Dayton Branch Office

U.S. Attorney’s Office
Walter H. Rice Federal Building And U.S. Courthouse
200 W. Second Street, Suite 600
Dayton, Oh 45402

(937) 225-2910
Main

(937) 225-2564
Fax

(937) 225-7665
TTY

(866) 476-0547
Victim-Witness Unit

Public Affairs Office & Media Inquiries

Jennifer Thornton

(614) 255-1570
Main

Law Enforcement Coordinator 

Mitchell Seckman

(614) 255-1525
Main

 

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Updated: May 20, 2021

 

 

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