News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Thurs. Jan. 27, 2021: The former federal prosecutor, who has confirmed the Cuban American Proud Boys founder cooperated with law enforcement, also has roots in the Caribbean.
Vanessa Singh Johannes, who confirmed to Reuters News that Enrique Tarrio “cooperated with local and federal law enforcement, to aid in the prosecution of those running other, separate criminal enterprises, ranging from running marijuana grow houses in Miami to operating pharmaceutical fraud schemes,” was born in the Caribbean.
Singh Johannes is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. She is now a trial attorney at Carlton Fields’ Miami office’s White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations division. In private practice, she has represented clients in a variety of white-collar matters involving fraud, antitrust, and environmental issues.
Singh Johannes served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, for a decade, trying more than 25 federal jury cases to verdict and handling appellate matters before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
In her career as a federal prosecutor, Singh-Johannes investigated, indicted, and tried cases involving crimes such as fraud and money laundering, arms trafficking, child exploitation, human trafficking, armed robberies, and homicides. She also handled numerous complex civil investigations into civil rights violations.
During her tenure, she also served as a member of the Special Prosecutions, Affirmative Civil Rights, Major Crimes, and Appeals units and, more recently, as the Southern District’s Project Safe Childhood coordinator, assisting federal agents with training, investigating, and assigning all child exploitation matters in South Florida.
Singh-Johannes earned the prestigious Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in 2018 for her work prosecuting Christopher Glenn, a U.S. citizen and Department of Defense contractor, who committed cyber espionage, theft of classified materials, and sex trafficking of minors in Honduras.
Previously in private practice she had a track record of representing Fortune 500 companies in complex litigation. Her notable matters include representing a large financial institution in multibillion-dollar federal antitrust litigation, a nonprofit foundation in a lawsuit against a purported hedge fund manager who ran a million-dollar Ponzi scheme in New York, a large telecommunications company in an environmental toxic tort litigation in federal court; and various corporations’ litigation interests in bankruptcy court.
A Miami resident, Singh Johannes volunteers as a writing coach for the Posse Foundation, which provides minority high school students with college scholarships and training in writing and leadership skills. She is also involved in the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association and the Caribbean Bar Association.
She is a graduate of Duke University School of Law and the University of Florida. She was admitted to the Bar in New York. In her Linked In profile, she lists herself as bilingual in Guyanese Creole.
Of Tarrio she was quoted by Reuters as saying: “I knew that he was a fraudster – but had no reason to know that he was also a domestic terrorist.” The former prosecutor said Tarrio’s information had led to the prosecution of 13 people on federal charges in two separate cases and had helped local authorities investigate a gambling ring.
Tarrio has acknowledged that his fraud sentence was reduced, from 30 months to 16 months, but insisted that leniency was provided only because he and his co-defendants helped investigators “clear up” questions about his own case. He said he never helped investigate others.