Donnelly and Coats Pleased Senate Judiciary Committee Will Hold Hearing on U.S. District Court Nominee Winfield Ong

Washington, D.C.—Today, U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Dan Coats (R-IN) issued the following statements in advance of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee holding a hearing Wednesday to take up judicial nominations, including that of Winfield D. Ong. He was nominated to fill the vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, created when Judge Sarah Evans Barker assumed senior status.  

Donnelly said, “I am pleased the Senate Judiciary Committee is giving Winfield Ong a hearing. He has an impressive range of experience and has demonstrated the ability and temperament necessary to serve Hoosiers well on the federal bench in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. I look forward to working with my colleagues, including Senator Coats, to see Winfield Ong move through the confirmation process as quickly as possible.”

Coats said, “I appreciate the Senate Judiciary Committee’s decision to hold a hearing on Winfield Ong’s nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The Judicial Conference of the United States has declared a judicial emergency in Indiana’s Southern District, and Winfield Ong’s successful career in the U.S. Attorney’s Office makes him uniquely qualified to fill this important role. This is a significant step toward confirmation, and I am eager to see this process move forward.”

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 District Attorney’s Office. He has served on the Organized Crime and Drug Task Force, as Appellate Counsel, and as criminal co-chair of the Health Care Fraud Task Force.

A livestream of Wednesday’s hearing will be available at

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