DOJ Asset Forfeiture Section Gets New Deputy Chiefs
By Andrew Ramonas | February 23, 2022 5:59 pm

Two prosecutors have been promoted to leadership positions in the Justice Department’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, where they are supervising a new Criminal Division unit dedicated to complex national and international financial cases.

Seetha Ramachandran (Facebook)

Seetha Ramachandran, who was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York; and Jonathan E. Lopez, a former Fraud Section prosecutor who most recently worked in the DOJ’s Office of Legislative Affairs, last month became co-Deputy Chiefs of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, known as AFMLS. Ramachandran and Lopez also will oversee the section’s new Money Laundering and Bank Integrity Unit.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer of the Criminal Division announced the creation of the unit in October.

Ramachandran had served in the Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney’s Office since 2005. She worked on money laundering and fraud cases, including investigations into alleged multi-million dollar schemes committed against the National Bank of Ethiopia and a customer of a JP Morgan Chase & Co. lockbox facility. Ramachandran also has taught legal writing at Fordham University.

She was a litigation associate at the law firm of Richards, Spears, Kibbe & Orbe LLP from 2003 to 2005 and at the law firm Covington & Burling LLP from 2000 to 2003. Ramachandran also was a law clerk for Judge Richard J. Cardamone of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals from 1999 to 2000.

Ramachandran received her undergraduate degree from Brown University in 1996 and her law degree from Columbia University in 1999.

Lopez had served in the DOJ’s Office of Legislative Affairs for the last year, working on various policy matters, including honest services fraud and sentencing guidelines. He previously was a Senior Litigation Counsel in the Criminal Division Fraud Section from 2006 to 2010, handling Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and fraud cases, including some of the Enron Corp. prosecutions.

He was Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Florida from 2003 to 2006, working on child exploitation, identity theft, drug and gun cases. Lopez was also a corporate associated at the law firm of Sidley & Austin LLP from 2000 to 2003.

Lopez received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1997 and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 2000. He was a member of the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review.

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