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United States Department of Justice
Accomplishments and Honors
Federal Defense
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United States Department of Justice

Upon graduation from Tulane University Law School, Dr. Belcher entered government service as a Trial Attorney with the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice, through its honors program, which the United States Department of Justice uses to offer employment to a limited number of first-year law school graduates following a very competitive hiring process.

While with the Tax Division, Dr. Belcher reviewed hundreds of criminal tax cases submitted by the Internal Revenue Service for proposed prosecution. For each case, Dr. Belcher prepared a technical “Prosecution Memorandum” recommending for or against prosecution of one or more persons for violations of Title 26 of the United States Code, also known as the Internal Revenue Code, including 26 U.S.C. §7201 (tax evasion), §7203 (willful failure to file returns), §7206(1) (willfully subscribing to false and fraudulent returns), and §7206(2) (willfully assisting in the preparation of false and fraudulent returns), as well as related violations of Title 18 of the United States Code.

Other than reviewing cases for prosecutorial merit, which Dr. Belcher performed from his office in Washington, DC, Dr. Belcher acted as lead counsel in dozens of criminal tax cases from coast to coast. Defendants in these cases included “mom and pop” business owners, tax shelter promoters, tax protestors, recipients of unreported income from S&L-related deals, and persons who had unreported illegal income from narcotics or other sources. In order to develop these cases fully before seeking an indictment, Dr. Belcher conducted numerous grand jury investigations lasting up to one year. Upon obtaining an indictment, Dr. Belcher would represent the United States in court. Dr. Belcher acted as lead counsel in approximately 25 jury trials of up to one month in length, plus many non-jury trials.

When prosecuting alleged criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code, Dr. Belcher often incorporated into an indictment related violations of Title 18 of the United States Code (the Criminal Code), including mail fraud, 18 U.S.C. §1341; wire fraud, 18 U.S.C. §1343; false claims, 18 U.S.C. §371; and false statements to the United States, 18 U.S.C. §1001.

At the beginning of his tenure with the United States Department of Justice, from mid-1985 through early 1986, Dr. Belcher spent six months on assignment to the United States Attorney for the Eastern Judicial District of Virginia, where cases are tried before the famous “Rocket Docket.” During this assignment, Dr. Belcher prosecuted the full panoply of federal offenses, ranging from serious traffic offenses and garden variety misdemeanors–all of which fall within the jurisdiction of the United States when committed within a federal enclave–to major felony offenses such as drug distribution; Interstate Transportation of Stolen Goods, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §2314; and possession of firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §922.


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