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U.S. Senate confirms new head of Justice Dept's criminal division

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WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate, on a voice vote, confirmed on Thursday President Barack Obama's nomination of Leslie Caldwell, a former federal prosecutor, to head the Justice Department's criminal division.

In the post, Caldwell will be in charge of a wide range of high-profile probes including those into benchmark manipulation, money laundering and foreign bribery.

Obama last September nominated Caldwell, who was a prosecutor for 17 years and helped build the case against Enron Corp, to lead the 600-lawyer division. Since 2004, Caldwell has worked as a defense attorney in New York at Morgan Lewis & Bockius.

A spate of recent departures has thinned the top ranks of the criminal division, but the agency has been rebuilding its leadership.

Last month it named a new No. 2 official at the division, Marshall Miller, who previously served as a top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn.

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