Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. announced the formation of a Major Economic Crimes Bureau that will be responsible for fighting "complex economic crime."

The new bureau will be formed by a combination of the Frauds Burea with lawyers from a bureau known as Investigation Division Central. Vance has appointed Richard Weber, currently the chief of Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, to head the effort.

"Over the past two years, in New York and around the country, I have spoken of the need to focus even more attention on serious economic crimes," said Vance, who succeeded Robert Morgenthau at the start of the year. "With this reorganization, I am pleased to be able to focus the resources of the Office under the Major Economic Crimes Bureau, so that we may continue and expand our battle against those who commit major economic frauds."

The new bureau will be responsible "for all manner of complex financial investigations," such as securities, commodities and investment fraud, mortgage and bank fraud, structured investment schemes and bribery.

The Manhattan D.A.'s office had a national and global reach under Morgenthau's 35-year tenure, which among other things included prosecuting international business cases.

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