Breuer steps down from major DOJ post

Jan. 30, 2013 at 6:17 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Lanny A. Breuer, who led the U.S. Justice Department's crackdown on corporate crime after the nationwide financial crisis, announced his resignation Wednesday.

While head of the Justice Department's criminal division, it was his investigations into Wall Street that got the most attention, The New York Times reported.

He had been criticized for a lack of prosecution of Wall Street firms alleged to have contributed to the nation's financial woes. In December, however, his division joined state attorneys general in a $2 billion money-laundering case against HSBC and reached a $1.5 billion settlement with UBS for rate rigging.

Breuer led the federal investigation into the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in April 2010. Earlier this week, BP, the operator of the rig, was ordered to pay $4 billion in criminal fines and penalties and agreed to plead guilty to 11 felony manslaughter charges, environmental crimes and obstruction of Congress.

Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement praised Breuer for "accomplishing record penalties in corruption cases at home and abroad and dismantling major organized crime and healthcare fraud networks around the country."

Breuer was confirmed to his post in April 2009, and is the longest-serving head of the criminal division in recent history, the statement said.

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