Robert J. DeSousa
Robert J. DeSousa is of counsel with the Dethlefs-Pykosh Law Group. He also
serves as The General Counsel of R. E. Harper Associates, LLC a wealth
management company specializing in estate and business planning, asset
protection and tax minimization. He previously served as Chief Executive Officer
of the Vartan Group, Inc., a leader in commercial building, leasing and design in
central Pennsylvania. Prior to being CEO He was Executive Vice President ,
Secretary and General Counsel of the Vartan Group, Inc., and the Secretary of
the Vartan National Bank and a Board Member of the First National Bank of
Liverpool. Mr. DeSousa was the fourth Inspector General of the Commonwealth,
having been appointed by Governor Ridge in May 1999. He supervised 400
employees and his agency brought in $150 million in recoveries in 2000. Mr.
DeSousa was formerly the Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania Department of
State and its Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs with 27 licensing
boards, Bureau of Elections, the State Athletic Commission, the Charities
Bureau, and the Corporation Bureau.
Mr. DeSousa is a 1982 graduate of Bucknell University and a 1985 graduate of
Dickinson School of Law, where he was a member of the Dickinson Law Review.
He was a Law Clerk to the Honorable Malcolm Muir, United States District Judge
for the Middle District of Pennsylvania at Williamsport, PA. He became an
Assistant United States Attorney in September 1987 and served in the Scranton,
PA office. From 1989 until 1994, he was the Chief of the Civil Division for the
Middle District of Pennsylvania and Attorney in Charge of the Lewisburg, PA
office. He also served with the Executive Office of the United States Attorneys in
Washington, DC, overseeing the National Affirmative Civil Enforcement
Program. Mr. DeSousa has published several articles on fraud. He served as
the first Chairman of the Affirmative Civil Enforcement Working Group of the
Attorney General's Advisory Committee. He was the 1993 recipient of the Justice
Department's Director's Award in Financial Litigation and has received
commendations from the Veterans Administration, the National Park Service, the
Treasury, and the Agriculture Departments. He was the 1988 recipient of the
Attorney General's Special Achievement Award and the winner of the
Pennsylvania Lt. Governor's PRIME Innovators Award in 1997.
Mr. DeSousa currently teaches in the Masters Program for Duquesne University.
From 1985 to 1994, Mr. DeSousa was an instructor in paralegal studies for The
Pennsylvania State University. He has also taught numerous courses for the
Attorney General's Advocacy Institute. He has been a Continuing Legal
Education instructor and Adjunct Professor for Widener University Law School.
He has served on the Government Lawyers, the Military and the Civil Rights
Committees of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Dauphin County, Union
County and Lackawanna County Bar Associations, and the Federal Bar
Association, where he is a member of the National Board of Directors. He serves
as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard where he has
been awarded, among others, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army
Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star
Medal. He served his country in Iraq in 2007- 2008 as the Command Judge
Advocate for his unit, as well as Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for his Higher
Command. He is currently the State Judge Advocate, Department of
Pennsylvania, Veteran's of Foreign Wars.
Mr. DeSousa, his wife Elizabeth, and their four children reside in Harrisburg, PA .