Steve Linick, a career Justice Department prosecutor who currently serves as a deputy chief in the Fraud Section and executive director of the National Procurement Fraud Task Force, has been nominated to become inspector general at the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
President Barack Obama yesterday sent Linick’s name to the U.S. Senate. (Obama had announced his intention to nominate Linick last month.) The nomination marks the second time Linick has been tapped for the spot. President George W. Bush named him for the new position in November 2008 but that nomination died in January 2009. The job has remained vacant. Ed Kelley, the former inspector general for the Federal Housing Finance Board, took over audit activities for the FHFA.
At the Justice Department, Linick supervises the investigation and prosecution of procurement and mortgage fraud, among other matters.
Linick is also the point man at Justice for contract fraud cases tied to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Linick works closely with the International Contract Corruption Task Force, an interagency group (including the FBI and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service) that was established in 2006. He serves as the primary intake officer, providing guidance to law enforcement agents during the early investigative stages.
As of late March, the Justice Department has brought charges against more than 100 individuals and six companies on the grounds of public corruption and government fraud relating to the wars and rebuilding effort in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks. It oversees more than $6.3 trillion in funding for U.S. mortgage and financial institutions.
Linick is a former assistant U.S. attorney who worked in the Central District of California in the mid-1990s, and then in the Eastern District of Virginia between 1999 and 2006.
Several other Fraud Section supervisors have left, or are planning to leave, in recent months. A former deputy chief, Kirk Ogrosky, who supervised health care fraud prosecution, has joined Arnold & Porter in the firm’s white collar criminal defense practice.
Another deputy chief, Mark Mendelsohn, who oversees Foreign Corrupt Practices Act cases, is expected to announce his private sector plans soon. The section brought on Davis Polk & Wardwell partner Denis McInerney as the chief in November to replace Steven Tyrrell, who joined the Washington office Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
In the Fraud Section, Hank Walther is acting deputy chief for health care, and Pat Stokes and Kathleen McGovern were promoted to deputy chiefs for securities fraud. Walther is a lead prosecutor in the FCPA undercover sting case in which 22 executives and employees in the arms business are charged in federal district court in Washington.