Alejandro Mayorkas

U.S. Attorney's Office

Specialty: Federal prosecutions

Law School: Loyola, 1985

If the U.S. Senate follows a recommendation made by President Clinton in December, Alejandro Mayorkas will be the new U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, making him the top prosecutor for the largest federal judicial district in the nation.

Mayorkas is already serving in that role, with former U.S. Attorney Nora Manella having been sworn in as a Los Angeles federal judge late last year. The district Mayorkas heads is comprised of seven Southern California counties, stretching from Riverside to San Luis Obispo.

The Cuban-born Mayorkas, 39, already is making a name for himself. Late last month, he held his first news conference as U.S. Attorney to announce the filing of charges against Kingman Quon, a 22-year-old Chinese American accused of sending threatening e-mail to Latinos at Cal State L.A., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the IRS, Xerox Corp., and other institutions. Quon agreed to plead guilty to seven federal hate-crime violations.

"It's going to sound corny, but I wanted to make a difference," he said of his initial decision to join the U.S. Attorney's Office in 1989. "I have very strong feelings about the work we do."

While working in the Asset Forfeiture Section, he was involved in the seizing of more than $12 million in assets from Steven D. Wymer, an institutional investment adviser convicted of fraud. "That was, at the time, the largest white-collar crime forfeiture in the country," Mayorkas said.

He also was coordinator of the Southern California Boiler Room Task Force, which was responsible for implementing new investigative and prosecution techniques for fighting investor fraud. He left that post to serve as one of two trial attorneys prosecuting the tax-evasion and money-laundering trial of Heidi Fleiss.

From 1996 until his appointment in December, Mayorkas was chief of the general crimes section of the U.S. Attorney's Office, where he trained new assistant U.S. attorneys in prosecuting narcotics crimes, violent crimes, immigration crimes, fraud and other federal crime cases.

Mayorkas has put off discussing any possible changes at the U.S. Attorney's Office until he is confirmed. "I think now would be a little early," he said.

Daniel Taub

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