The head of the presidential task force combating financial crimes has resigned to join the private sector.

Michael Bresnick, executive director of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, stepped down on Thursday. He will become a partner in the Washington, D.C. , law firm Stein Mitchell Muse and Cipollone LLP.

President Obama created the task force in 2009 to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. Bresnick, a longtime federal prosecutor, became executive director in October 2011. Last year, he established a consumer protection working group and a residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) working group, which focuses on fraud in the packaging and sale of such securities.

Almost five years after the financial crisis, government officials continue to face questions about why it has been unable or unwilling to hold any senior Wall Street executives criminally responsible for the financial system's collapse.

But U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ignored those lingering criticisms on Thursday, praising Bresnick's efforts "to ensure stability and fairness in our financial and housing markets — while holding accountable those who take advantage of their fellow citizens. Under Mike's leadership, the [Justice Department's] approach in identifying — and combating — financial fraud has never been smarter, more systematic, or more effective."

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