Justice Department Firms Up Criminal Division Leadership Ranks

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Kenneth Polite Jr., who was confirmed by the Senate to serve as assistant attorney general in July, has gone on to fill several key leadership positions within the criminal division.

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The Justice Department has also appointed two deputy chiefs to its fraud section, according to an announcement from the Department of Internal Justice seen by Businesshala. The section, one of the largest teams of white-collar criminal prosecutors in the US, investigates business crimes ranging from foreign bribery to healthcare and securities fraud and market manipulation.

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Brent Wieble and Lorinda Laria will serve as Acting Co-Founder Deputy Chiefs, according to the announcement by Josef Baumsterbauer, head of the Acting Fraud Section.

Mr. Wibble had previously held a similar role, while Ms. Laria was serving as the principal assistant deputy of the section’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act unit.

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The appointments follow the Senate confirmation in July of Kenneth Polite Jr., who was nominated by the Biden administration to serve as assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s criminal department.

Leadership positions within the criminal division are highly prized within the legal community. Polite’s decision to have a career prosecutor serve as deputy assistant attorney general may indicate a willingness to prioritize continuity within the department’s day-to-day operations over any major changes to its enforcement program.

The appointments reflect a commitment by Mr Humble and other political appointees to the mission of the fraud section and the work of its career prosecutors, Mr Kahn said when reached by phone on Friday.

“These changes within and over the fraud section give this section one of the strongest leadership teams in its history,” he said.

Attorney General Merrick Garland has sought to assert the Justice Department’s independence from politics, following allegations of interference that surrounded his predecessor’s tenure.

Dylan Tokar at [email protected]

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