WASHINGTON Jan 30 Lanny Breuer, the head of the
Justice Department's criminal division, plans to step down on
March 1, according to an internal memo.
"As I wrote to the President, and want to tell you, serving
as the head of this remarkable Division has been the greatest
privilege of my professional life," Breuer said in a memo to
criminal division employees dated Tuesday.
Breuer, who previously worked as a defense lawyer and in the
Clinton White House, has led the division since 2009.
He faced much criticism for the department's failure to
bring major prosecutions against companies and individuals who
played a role in the 2007-2009 financial crisis, but also led
the division in several record-breaking settlements.
BP Plc agreed in November to pay $4 billion in
criminal fines and penalties, the largest in history, on charges
related to the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
The London-based bank HSBC Holdings plc also agreed
to the largest forfeiture ever in December - $1.25 billion - to
resolve charges that it failed to maintain an effective
anti-money laundering program and let itself be used by major
Mexican drug cartels.