Stephen R. Kaufman, Allegheny ’81, has been named acting US attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania. In this position, Mr. Kaufman leads of staff of nearly 130 employees representing the United States in courts throughout Pennsylvania’s western 25 counties, including staffed offices in Pittsburgh, Erie and Johnstown.
Brother Kaufman’s career in the Department of Justice spans four decades. Most recently he served as first assistant US attorney beginning in April 2018. Prior to that appointment, Kaufman held a series of leadership positions in the US Attorney’s Office, including serving as the chief of the criminal division from 2010 to 2018. Mr. Kaufman joined the U. S. Attorney’s Office in 1988. In his career as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Kaufman has handled a wide variety of violent crime, narcotics, child exploitation and white-collar cases. Notable cases include the successful eight-week trial of the Pittsburgh La Cosa Nostra organized crime family on RICO charges, the prosecution of the distributors of China White, a deadly synthetic form of heroin which caused the overdose deaths of seventeen individuals in 1988, the prosecution of the perpetrator of a $31 million check-kiting scheme against PNC Bank, and obtained the conviction of a physician who was the most prolific illegal distributor of oxycodone in the Pittsburgh area prior to his arrest.
After graduating summa cum laude from Allegheny College in 1981, Mr. Kaufman attended Harvard Law School, where he graduated cum laude in 1984. He joined the United States Attorney’s Office after working as a law clerk for United States District Judge Donald E. Ziegler. He also engaged in the private practice of law with former United States Attorney Frederick W. Thieman at the law firms of Titus & McConomy and Thieman & Kaufman. Mr. Kaufman has been a member of the Adjunct Faculty at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law since 1997, where he has taught courses in white-collar crime, criminal procedure, and trial advocacy.
Excerpted from press release from the US Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice, Western District of Pennsylvania.