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DOJ Forfeiture Section Loses Another Leader
By Andrew Ramonas | February 18, 2022 1:21 pm

The chief of the Justice Department Criminal Division’s asset forfeiture and money laundering section will join the Manhattan district attorney’s office, becoming the second leader the DOJ unit has lost this month.

Richard Weber, who has led the DOJ forfeiture section since 2005, will head the new major economic crimes bureau in the Manhattan district attorney’s office and serve as the deputy chief of the office’s investigation division, Reuters reported today. The DOJ forfeiture section also lost deputy chief Pamela L. Dempsey, who died of leukemia earlier this month.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who became the district attorney in January, said in a news release that the new bureau will “expand our battle against those who commit major economic frauds.” Weber said he is “honored” to become a prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

“In the Justice Department, it was clear to me that most important financial transactions went through Manhattan, which is the financial center of the world,” Weber said in the news release. “The opportunity to assist Cy Vance as he expands the DA Office’s effort in this critical area is an incredible opportunity.”

The new major economic crimes bureau is the latest in a series of initiatives from New York prosecutors to better combat white collar crimes.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara also has taken steps to better address economic crimes in his district, which includes Wall Street. Last year, he created a complex frauds unit to investigate large-scale frauds and cyber crimes.

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