For Immediate Release - March 07, 2011

AG Coakley Appoints New Criminal Bureau Chief, Public Integrity Division Chief

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley announced two new appointments to the office's Criminal Bureau. Christopher J. Walsh, who has served as the Chief of the Medicaid Fraud Division since joining the AG's office in 2007, was recently appointed Chief of the Criminal Bureau. Jim O'Brien, who served as Chief of the Corruption and Fraud Division within the Criminal Bureau has been appointed Chief of the newly formed Public Integrity Division.

"Chris has illustrated strong leadership qualities as the head of our Medicaid Fraud Division, this past year leading his team to achieve record recoveries totaling over $66 million for the state Medicaid Program," said AG Coakley. "I am confident that Chris' management skills coupled with his extensive experience as a criminal prosecutor will allow him to successfully lead the Criminal Bureau in the vital work it does each day to enhance public safety for Massachusetts communities."

Walsh, a Melrose resident, first joined the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office in March 2007 as the Chief of the Medicaid Fraud Division in the Business and Labor Bureau, where he led efforts to achieve overall record recoveries in excess of $191 million on behalf of the Commonwealth. Prior to joining the AG's Office, Walsh served as an Assistant District Attorney for over twelve years in Middlesex and Berkshire Counties, where he prosecuted a wide range of cases, including white collar crime, major felonies and homicides. In 2004, Walsh received the John J. Droney Award for his outstanding contributions to the Middlesex District Attorney's Office. Walsh is a graduate of Providence College and received his J.D. from New England School of Law.

O'Brien, a Belmont resident, joined the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office 11 years ago and has practiced law as a trial attorney in both the private and public sectors over the past 24 years. While an associate at Boston-based Morrison, Mahoney & Miller, and later at Brody, Hardoon, Perkins & Kesten, he represented a broad array of Massachusetts cities and towns. His public sector experience began with the Middlesex District Attorney's Office, where he gained extensive trial experience and continued with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, where he has served as Chief of the Criminal Justice Policy Division, Chief of the Corruption and Fraud Division, and now as Chief of the newly created Public Integrity Division. O'Brien received his undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont and is a 1986 graduate of Case Western Reserve University Law School.

"Jim is an outstanding lawyer and a natural choice to lead our new Public Integrity Division," AG Coakley said. "Having served with great distinction with the Attorney General's Office and as the head of our Corruption and Fraud Division, his skills will play an integral role in our office's efforts to address Government corruption and hold those accountable that violate the law."

The Criminal Bureau investigates and prosecutes a wide spectrum of criminal cases and also focuses on prevention and educational efforts to support public safety in Massachusetts. The Criminal Bureau focuses on cases that reflect the statewide jurisdiction and areas of investigative and prosecutorial expertise not addressed by other law enforcement offices, particularly in the protection of taxpayer funds and the integrity of governmental agencies. The Criminal Bureau includes the following divisions: Appeals, Cyber Crime, Financial Investigations, Insurance and Unemployment Fraud, Environmental Crimes Strike Force, Enterprise and Major Crimes, the State Police Detective Unit, and the recently formed Public Integrity Division and the Fraud and Financial Crimes Division.

The Public Integrity Division will be staffed with designated Assistant Attorneys General, Massachusetts State Police and civilian financial investigators charged with investigating and prosecuting cases of public corruption and fraud. The Division is already engaged in a number of investigations, including the extensive examination into the Massachusetts Probation Department. The new Fraud and Financial Crimes Division will focus on cases of fraud and white collar cases. These cases include employee embezzlement and other crimes against companies that impact their bottom lines. A Division Chief has not yet been named.