Special Investigations and Prosecutions (SIP)

Prosecutors assigned to Special Investigations and Prosecutions (SIP) Unit devote their time to the investigation and prosecution of complicated and large scale financial crimes, such as embezzlements, investment frauds, business frauds, insurance frauds, employment/compensation frauds, welfare fraud, identity theft, tax evasion and financial elder abuse.

Led by Chief Gary M. Ertel, the SIP Unit handles cases that are usually more time intensive and require a variety of technical skills and training not possessed by most prosecutors. Assistant District Attorneys assigned to the unit are often assisted by seasoned investigators and retained forensic accountants. 

Chief Ertel joined the Erie County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney in 2007 after obtaining his Juris Doctor from Duquesne University Thomas R. Kline School of Law. He was quickly promoted to the SIP Unit the following year.

During his career as a prosecutor, Chief Ertel has handled tens of thousands of criminal cases involving embezzlements, credit card skimming, identity theft, tax fraud and computer crimes. He also oversees our office’s Public Integrity Unit where he is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of crimes that involve the violation of the public’s trust. 

Chief Ertel has obtained specialized training from the United State Secret Service on the collection and analysis of digital evidence. He has also provided presentations on elder abuse and financial exploitation, trial technique in tax prosecution and the investigation of cases involving official misconduct.