WASHINGTON, DC – Senators Dan Coats (R-Ind.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) today testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee during a hearing on judicial nominations. The Indiana senators spoke in support of Winfield D. Ong, who was nominated to fill the vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Coats said, “Winfield’s colleagues in the legal profession recommend him highly. It is clear to me that he has earned the respect of his peers. In light of Winfield Ong’s qualifications, outstanding record of public service and the ongoing judicial emergency in the Southern District of Indiana, I respectfully ask that you send his nomination to the full Senate for confirmation and trust that the Senate will act swiftly with confirmation.”
Donnelly said, “I am very pleased today to join with Senator Coats to introduce and express my support for Winfield Ong…Winfield has a long and distinguished record of public service…In light of his strong qualifications and the urgent need to fill this position, I urge you to expeditiously consider Winfield Ong’s nomination and send it to the floor for a vote by the full Senate.”
Ong, a native of Evansville and resident of Indianapolis, graduated from DePauw University and has spent most of his career working in Indiana. Ong currently serves as Chief of the Criminal Division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Indiana. Ong was recognized for leading the prosecution of Tim Durham, who was found guilty of defrauding investors out of millions of dollars, resulting in the largest white-collar fraud sentence imposed in the Southern District of Indiana. Durham and his co-conspirators defrauded approximately 5,000 victims who lost $200 million to their scheme. For his work on this case, Ong received a prestigious Director’s Award from the Department of Justice, recognizing Assistant United States Attorneys who have distinguished themselves through the outstanding performance of their duties.
Early in his legal career, Ong clerked for Judge Gene E. Brooks, Chief Judge, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana and went on to serve as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana’s Civil Division and then as Director and Counsel of the Integrity Division of Anthem/Wellpoint before returning to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He has served on the Organized Crime and Drug Task Force, as Appellate Counsel, and as co-chair of the Health Care Fraud Task Force.