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U.S. Attorney’s Office Paralegal Convicted of Witness Retaliation and Obstruction of Justice-Related Charges


On April 27, 2022, a former paralegal who worked in the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey was found guilty after trial on four counts of an eight-count Indictment, specifically Witness Retaliation Conspiracy, Witness Retaliation, Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice, and Obstruction of Justice. Tawanna Hilliard was found guilty in the Eastern District of New York. Hilliard is the mother of her co-defendant, Tyquan Hilliard, who pleaded guilty in November 2020 to similar charges. According to the evidence presented at trial and the Department of Justice’s press release, in or about May 2018, Tyquan Hilliard, a member of the 5-9 Brims street gang, and two other individuals robbed a cell phone store in Monticello, New York. Following the arrest of her son and the two other individuals, Tawanna Hilliard received discovery in her son’s robbery case, including videos of post-arrest statements made by the other two individuals who participated in the robbery. Tawanna Hilliard then discussed the videos in detail over recorded calls with her son, who was incarcerated following his arrest for the robbery, and her son asked her to post one of the videos on the internet.  The videos were subsequently posted on YouTube by a different user and received over ten thousand views before being removed from the platform. After the videos were posted on YouTube, both individuals received death threats and one reported hearing gunshots outside her home. The investigation is being conducted by the OIG’s New Jersey Area Office.

Case Action
Conviction by Trial