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Mitra Hormozi, Former Chair of New York State Commission on Public Integrity, Joins Zuckerman Spaeder LLP

February 1, 2013

Zuckerman Spaeder LLP is pleased to announce that Mitra Hormozi, former chair of the New York State Commission on Public Integrity and former Chief of the Organized Crime Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, has joined the firm’s New York office. A former advisor to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Ms. Hormozi is a veteran trial attorney who brings years of government experience to her work on behalf of clients facing regulatory investigations, potential criminal prosecutions, internal investigations, and compliance matters. She has experience serving as a court-appointed monitor and special master, most recently overseeing the payment of damages to minority firefighter applicants. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York determined that New York City owed $128.7 million in back pay to minorities whose employment with the fire department had been either delayed or denied after they were required to take a test that was later found to be racially discriminatory. Ms. Hormozi is currently a commissioner on the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE).

Ms. Hormozi’s arrival continues Zuckerman Spaeder’s growth in New York, which most recently includes former federal judge Barbara S. Jones. The firm’s expansion is led by partner Steven M. Cohen, who served as the senior adviser to Gov. Cuomo, as well as Gov. Cuomo’s Counselor and Chief of Staff in the Attorney General’s Office. In the last 18 months, the office has added highly regarded New York litigators Paul Shechtman and Andrew E. Tomback. In 2012, James Sottile, a senior member of firm management, relocated to the New York office to participate in the growth of the office and the integration of new lawyers into the firm. The firm also added six associates to the office, including four former federal judicial clerks, a former senior advisor to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and a former officer in the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps.

“Having worked closely with Mitra at the New York Attorney General’s Office, I know that she is a talented and determined litigator, and that our clients will benefit tremendously from her counsel,” said Mr. Cohen. “Her knowledge and experience will be valuable assets in the work we do on behalf of the firm’s clients.”

Ms. Hormozi has more than a decade of experience as a government lawyer; she has directed investigations and tried cases at the trial and appellate level. As Special Deputy Chief of Staff to then-New York Attorney General Cuomo, Ms. Hormozi supervised high-profile initiatives involving public integrity, consumer fraud, the False Claims Act, and internet fraud, including working on settlements with social networking sites. She spearheaded the investigation of state Sen. Pedro Espada, and was designated a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney to help federal authorities indict and convict Espada on embezzlement and theft charges.

As a federal prosecutor, Ms. Hormozi served as Chief of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section for the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. There, she investigated and successfully tried notorious organized crime cases involving murders, narcotics trafficking, extortion, mail and wire fraud, money laundering, and more. She prosecuted the 2006 “Mafia Cops” case against two retired New York Police Department detectives who worked as mob hit men. After winning life sentences for each, she also won reinstatement of the guilty verdicts when they were set aside by the trial court. She was also on the team that tried the boss of one of the five organized crime families in New York. For her work as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, she received the FBI Director’s Award.

“I am thrilled to be joining Steve, Barbara, and the incredible team of lawyers at Zuckerman Spaeder,” said Ms. Hormozi. “The firm is known for tackling some of the most challenging cases, and I look forward to being a part of the growth of the firm’s New York office.”

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