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Legal Careers

Trial Attorney (Digital Currency Initiative)

Hiring Organization
Criminal Division (CRM)
Hiring Office
Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section
Job ID
Washington, DC 20005 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice, is seeking a qualified, experienced attorney for a permanent position in MLARS located in Washington, DC. A remote location outside of Washington DC will be considered for qualified candidates. The incumbent of this position serves as a Trial Attorney for the Digital Currency Initiative in the Special Financial Investigations Unit of the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS).

The Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section's (MLARS) mission is to take the profit out of crime. As a Criminal Division component, MLARS accomplishes its mission by pursuing criminal prosecutions and forfeiture actions against financial institutions and their officers and employees engaged in money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, and sanctions violations; and attorneys, financial professionals, and other facilitators or third party money launderers who move money for transnational criminal organizations, particularly cybercriminals and the drug cartels. In addition, MLARS forfeits the proceeds of high-level foreign corruption and prosecutes third party money launderers who move corruption proceeds, through the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative. MLARS also plays a leadership role in the Department's money laundering and asset forfeiture efforts by assisting Departmental and interagency policymakers by developing legislative, regulatory, and policy initiatives to combat global illicit finance; returning forfeited criminal proceeds to benefit those harmed by crime through remission and restoration processes; distributing forfeited assets to offset the costs to state, local, and foreign law enforcement for partnering with the United States in federal prosecutions; and providing legal and policy assistance and training to federal, state, and local prosecutors and law enforcement personnel, as well as to foreign governments.

As the federal agency whose mission is to ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans, the Department of Justice is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. To build and retain a workforce that reflects the diverse experiences and perspectives of the American people, we welcome applicants from the many communities, identities, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities, religions, and cultures of the United States who share our commitment to public service.

Job Description

As a Trial Attorney, and in partnership with other members of the Digital Currency Initiative, the incumbent:

  • Serves as a subject matter expert on digital currency and blockchain technologies for the Criminal Division.
  • Identifies unexploited opportunities to target for criminal prosecution the professional money launderers, money transmitters, gatekeepers and financial institutions that utilize digital currency and works with investigators and MLARS' litigating units to pursue these opportunities.
  • On a strategic basis, prosecutes criminal and civil matters of national significance involving offenders who utilize digital currency.
  • Coordinates national and international money laundering and forfeiture actions related to digital currency with and through law enforcement agencies and other Department of Justice components.
  • Works closely with U.S. Attorney's Offices, Department components, and investigative agencies involved in digital currency investigations to develop a comprehensive, nationwide strategy in which information and evidence is exchanged, investigative actions are coordinated, and the indictments, arrests, forfeiture actions, and prosecutions are planned and coordinated.
  • Provides advice and expertise to MLARS' Policy Unit on legislative and regulatory matters and works with the Policy and Program Management Units to propose and develop guidance and policy relating to digital currency prosecutions and forfeitures, as needed.
  • Advises and instructs federal agents and prosecutors on complex questions of law related to digital currency to inform litigation decisions and prosecutorial strategies and to maximize asset recovery, including but not limited to reviewing search and seizure warrants, restraining orders, criminal forfeiture allegations, indictments, and other pleadings.
  • Develops and maintains relationships with partners at the U.S. Attorney's Offices, other litigating components and offices, and federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies that investigate and prosecute digital currency cases, as well as with partners at regulatory agencies, the intelligence community, and private industry.
  • Develops and executes training and educational materials relating to digital currency for the Department and law enforcement agencies.

Required Qualifications: Interested applicants must possess a J.D., or equivalent, degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of any State, territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and be an active member of the bar in good standing. To qualify at the GS-15 grade level, applicants must have at least five (5) years post J.D. legal experience, one of which was specialized experience at, or equivalent to, the GS-14 grade level. Examples of specialized experience include working as an attorney on money laundering, asset forfeiture, or complicated white collar cases involving virtual currencies.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Extensive knowledge pertaining to digital currencies and blockchain technology.
  • Knowledge of money laundering and asset forfeiture law.
  • At least five (5) years' trial experience as a prosecutor or trial attorney handling criminal matters.
  • Experience investigating criminal matters involving complex or sensitive law enforcement techniques.
Application Process

The Application Package must be received by 11:59 PM, Eastern Time, on the closing date of this announcement.

Please submit your application through USAJOBS. The list of required documents can be found in the USAJobs announcement.

  1. If you do not already have an account, please create a USAjobs account before applying Create an Account. You will be able to upload your resume and supporting documents and complete your profile prior to applying.
  2. Once you have an account, apply to the USAjobs vacancy: 

$144,128.00 to $172,500.00 per annum, which includes locality pay. See OPM’s Web page at….

Number of Positions
Periodic domestic and international travel may be required, including domestic travel to the Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses are not authorized.

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Department Policies

Equal Employment Opportunity:  The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer.  Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex - including gender identity, sexual orientation, or pregnancy status - or because of age (over 40), physical or mental disability, protected genetic information, parental status, marital status, political affiliation, or any other non-merit based factor.  The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice. For more information, please review our full EEO Statement.

Reasonable Accommodations:  This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency.  Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Outreach and Recruitment for Qualified Applicants with Disabilities:  The Department encourages qualified applicants with disabilities, including individuals with targeted/severe disabilities to apply in response to posted vacancy announcements.  Qualified applicants with targeted/severe disabilities may be eligible for direct hire, non-competitive appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u)) hiring authority.  Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC) to express an interest in being considered for a position. See list of DPOCs.   

Suitability and Citizenship:  It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment.  Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Congress generally prohibits agencies from employing non-citizens within the United States, except for a few narrow exceptions as set forth in the annual Appropriations Act (see, Pursuant to DOJ component policies, only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Trustee’s Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, qualifying non-U.S. citizens meeting immigration and appropriations law criteria may apply for employment with other DOJ organizations. However, please be advised that the appointment of non-U.S. citizens is extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department's mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All DOJ employees are subject to a residency requirement. Candidates must have lived in the United States for at least three of the past five years. The three-year period is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive. Federal or military employees, or dependents of federal or military employees serving overseas, are excepted from this requirement. This is a Department security requirement which is waived only for extreme circumstances and handled on a case-by-case basis.

Veterans:  There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their submissions. Although the "point" system is not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit the OPM website, for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation associated with service- connected disabilities or receipt of nonservice-connected disability pensions to be dated 1991 or later except in the case of service members submitting official statements or retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that their retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that they were transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).

USAO Residency Requirement:  Assistant United States Attorneys must reside in the district to which appointed or within 25 miles thereof.  See 28 U.S.C. 545 for district specific information.

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This and other vacancy announcements can be found under Attorney Vacancies and Volunteer Legal Internships. The Department of Justice cannot control further dissemination and/or posting of information contained in this vacancy announcement. Such posting and/or dissemination is not an endorsement by the Department of the organization or group disseminating and/or posting the information.

Updated June 21, 2021