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Stephen J. Cox steps down as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas

Herald Democrat
Stephen J. Cox became the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas in May of 2020.

United States Attorney Stephen J. Cox  stepped down from his post as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas on Tuesday.

During Cox’s tenure at EDTX, the District focused increased attention on complex fraud and white-collar enforcement, with a particular emphasis on healthcare, financial, and antitrust crimes; adopted new corporate enforcement policies that are important for transparency, good government, and fairness; launched a new transnational elder fraud initiative designed to target international crime rings targeting senior citizens; formed new partnerships and strike forces with law enforcement partners to leverage expertise and increase referrals; initiated a new violent crime enforcement blitz designed to thwart a rise in gun crimes in Port Arthur and the Golden Triangle; formed new public-private partnerships to facilitate increased information sharing; and developed a new leadership structure to implement specialized fields of practice and increase collaboration and co-counsel opportunities across the District.

“The opportunity to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas has been a distinct honor and privilege for which I will be forever grateful,” said Cox in a written statement released by the U.S. Attorney's Office. “The opportunity to serve the people of the Great State of Texas, and to work alongside the fine men and women of our office, has been nothing short of humbling.”

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas Stephen Cox stepped down on Tuesday.

Cox began his service at the Department of Justice in early 2017, when he served as Deputy Associate Attorney General in the Office of the Associate Attorney General (OASG), overseeing five large litigating components, three grant-making components, and a number of other offices relating to civil justice.  Cox spearheaded numerous policy reforms relating to corporate enforcement and regulatory reform, while overseeing several Department matters concerning financial fraud and healthcare fraud.  He also served as vice chair of the Deputy Attorney General’s working group on corporate enforcement and accountability, and as executive director of the Department’s regulatory reform task force.

In May 2020, after more than three years in OASG including as Chief of Staff, former Attorney General William Barr appointed Cox as U.S. Attorney for EDTX effective June 1st, replacing former Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown.  September 28th COx was appointed by the Court as U.S. Attorney, having received the unanimous approval of the active and senior District Judges.

Upon Cox’s departure, Nicholas Ganjei, a career federal prosecutor and EDTX’s First Assistant U.S. Attorney, will serve as acting U.S. Attorney. Ganjei will become the first Persian-American in the 174-year history of the District to serve as EDTX’s U.S. Attorney (acting or otherwise).

“I expect the transition to be seamless,” said Cox. “Nick and I worked hand-in-glove on setting these office priorities and putting our signature initiatives into motion.  Although I am passing the torch, I’m excited to see where Nick and the leadership team take the office next.”