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Posted July 7, 2011

Jasmine Yoon ’06 Fights Financial Fraud

Yoon

Where are you working?

I am currently working as a criminal assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia, located in Alexandria, Virginia.   Specifically I am a member of the Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit.

How did your time at Virginia Law prepare you for your career?

I enjoyed many of my classes at Virginia Law and I find many of those classes have prepared me well for my current position as a federal fraud prosecutor, such as criminal procedure, federal income tax, the prosecution clinic, trial advocacy and hallmarks of distinguished advocacy. 

What do you like about working in the Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit?

My unit is full of collegial, intelligent, hard-working and energetic prosecutors — I look up to many of them and enjoy learning from them. I also enjoy the challenge that comes from investigating and putting together significant and complex financial fraud cases.

The unit has grown by 50 percent since September 2009. Has the need for this type of work grown in the aftermath of the financial meltdown? 

I believe that as companies and individuals struggle financially in the wake of the recession, they are more likely to engage in fraudulent behavior. Even though I am not familiar with the volume of cases pre-2009, I am aware that fighting financial fraud is the Justice Department’s top priority now and that we have seen a large volume of cases recently.

What advice would you offer to current Virginia Law students interested in this type of work?

I would take advantage of many criminal law–related courses Virginia Law has to offer.  Also, if they cannot get a position that they want right away, I would tell them not to be discouraged — there are many things students can do in order to prepare themselves for this career, such as taking on pro bono projects that would give them opportunities to be inside a courtroom. 

You also have an undergraduate degree from UVA in international business and culture, so you spent many years in the Charlottesville area. What do you miss the most about Charlottesville? 

I’ve spent seven years in Charlottesville and yet will never get sick of Charlottesville.  I know this sounds silly, but I love the food of Charlottesville — Bodo’s, Arch’s, the Bellair gas station, and Marco and Luca. 

What was one of your favorite Law School classes, and why?

There are so many and it’s hard to pick one. If I had to pick one, I would have to say Trusts and Estates by Professor [Barry] Cushman. Anyone who can make a trusts and estates class a joy to attend is a hero in my mind. He is such a fabulous and engaging lecturer.   

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