WILMINGTON, Del. – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware and our federal partners opened the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the demise of the Wilmington Trust Company in 2011. We have interviewed hundreds of witnesses and reviewed hundreds of thousands of documents. As is typically the case in any long term investigation and prosecution, we experienced successes and disappointments along the way. We secured guilty pleas to fraud and related offenses from seven defendants and negotiated a settlement with the bank which, among other things, called for the forfeiture of 60 million dollars for victims. The Third Circuit’s decision, on the other hand, was extremely disappointing and limited our options moving forward.
Prosecutors must constantly weigh a number of factors in exercising prosecutorial discretion. Those factors include not only the likelihood of obtaining a conviction, but also competing public safety priorities, and the availability of finite resources to address these priorities. In my judgment, the practical implications of the Third Circuit’s opinion and the challenges currently facing our community–such as unprecedented violent crime, the rising number of opioid overdose deaths, and domestic terrorism–counsel in favor of declining to retry David Gibson, Robert V.A. Harra, William North and Kevyn Rakowski.