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The job of chief of the Fraud Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division is one of the highest posts to which a career white-collar prosecutor can aspire. That makes it all the more mysterious that the division is taking so long to name a permanent chief to replace Joshua Hochberg, who retired from the government to join McKenna Long & Aldridge last September. Christopher Wray, the former assistant attorney general of the Criminal Division, began the search to replace Hochberg more than a year ago. But Wray, who left the DOJ in the spring of 2005 for King & Spalding, aborted that search in order to allow his replacement, Alice Fisher, to name her own person for the plum position. After Hochberg departed, Paul Pelletier, a veteran federal prosecutor from Miami, was named the section’s acting chief. But 10 months later, Pelletier hasn’t been given the permanent job, and it remains possible that Fisher could tap someone from outside Justice for the post. The vacancy comes at a time when the number of new white-collar crime cases opened by the feds has declined significantly. But the DOJ’s leadership doesn’t seem to be in a hurry. “As long as you’ve got someone doing the job, I don’t know that there would be a rush,” says DOJ spokesman Bryan Sierra. “They’re going to look for the right person for this spot.”
Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected].

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