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Manhattan District Attorney Names New Investigation Head

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- David Szuchman was named head of the investigation division of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office to succeed Adam Kaufmann, who is leaving for a job in the private sector.

Szuchman, 40, will become chief of the unit on Nov. 15 to replace Kaufmann, 47, who is leaving the office at the end of the year, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said yesterday in a statement. Szuchman currently serves as chief of the cybercrime and identity theft bureau, and deputy chief of the investigation unit, Vance’s office said.

A graduate of the University of Vermont and Hofstra Law School, Szuchman started his career as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan in 1997. He also worked for the state Attorney General’s Office, investigating and prosecuting complex fraud and antitrust cases, and as a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, according to Vance’s office.

He was nominated by former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine to become that state’s consumer affairs director, a post he held until he returned to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in 2010 as chief of an expanded cybercrime and identity theft bureau, Vance’s office said.

Under Szuchman’s leadership, the bureau “investigated and prosecuted major cyber fraud rings, theft of intellectual property, computer intrusions and malware attacks, and organized money laundering operations,” Vance said.

Bank Probes

Kaufmann, who has been with the district attorney’s office for 18 years, has headed the investigation division for three years and has supervised probes of sanctions violations by international banks that have led to $1.8 billion in fines and forfeitures. Vance’s office declined to comment on Kaufmann’s new job.

Kaufmann joined the district attorney’s office in 1994 and was part of the team that secured a conviction in the case of Robert Bierenbaum, a plastic surgeon found guilty in 2000 of murdering his wife in 1985 and dumping her body into the Atlantic Ocean, according to Vance’s website.

Kaufmann in 2000 joined the office of the city’s special narcotics prosecutor, where he supervised long-term probes of drug-smuggling organizations, before being assigned in 2003 to handle complex financial crime investigations.

Iranian Money

Cases supervised by Kaufmann include probes into the illegal movement of billions of dollars of Iranian money by banks, the sale of weapons material to Iran by a Chinese company banned by the U.S. government and the guilty pleas of 25 defendants who ran a subprime mortgage-fraud ring.

The investigation division is a “recognized leader” in white-collar and organized crime prosecutions and also probes and prosecutes “more localized and traditional cases involving fraud and corruption,” such as embezzlement, insurance fraud and credit-card and check fraud, according to Vance’s website.

“One of our core philosophies is that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has an obligation to police the financial markets to root out fraud,” according to a statement on Vance’s website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Dolmetsch in New York at cdolmetsch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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