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Press Release

United States Attorney John R. Lausch, Jr., Announces Resignation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois since 2017, today announced his resignation, which will become effective on March 11, 2023.  First Assistant U.S. Attorney Morris “Sonny” Pasqual will assume the position of United States Attorney on an acting basis. 

Mr. Lausch was sworn in as United States Attorney on November 22, 2017, following his appointment by President Donald J. Trump.  Under Mr. Lausch’s leadership, the U.S. Attorney’s Office achieved significant convictions in the areas of violent crime, public corruption, national security, financial fraud, drug trafficking, and many other areas of importance.  Mr. Lausch also oversaw substantial achievements in civil cases, including procuring millions of dollars in settlements and judgments against individuals and companies for civil rights violations, health care fraud, and environmental harms.

“It has been the privilege of a lifetime to lead the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago,” said Mr. Lausch.  “I want to thank all of my talented colleagues in the office, as well as our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, for their hard work and dedicated public service during my tenure.  It was my honor each and every day to help carry out the office’s mission to uphold the rule of law, keep our country safe, and protect our civil rights.”

“John Lausch has served the citizens of the Northern District of Illinois and the United States with magnificent distinction,” said Mr. Pasqual.  “I want to thank John for his tremendous stewardship of the office, and I wish him well in his future endeavors.” 

During Mr. Lausch’s tenure, the office focused on battling the stubborn violent crime problem in Chicago and throughout the Northern District, overseeing multiple racketeering prosecutions of members of organized criminal street gangs and gang factions, as well as the prosecutions of illegal gun offenders in Chicago and throughout northern Illinois.  Among other strategies, the office launched a Gun Crimes Prosecution Team to disrupt the cycle of violence in the Chicago neighborhoods most in need, as well as a Gun Trafficking Strike Force to address the illegal transfer of firearms to felons and other prohibited persons.  Mr. Lausch in 2020 oversaw federal law enforcement’s collaboration with state and local law enforcement partners to respond to civil unrest and rising rates of violent crime in the Chicago area.

Mr. Lausch led the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The office remained open during the pandemic, and Mr. Lausch oversaw criminal charges against numerous individuals for allegedly using the crisis to commit fraud during a vulnerable time in our nation’s history.  In addition, the office maintained its strong tradition of prosecuting individuals for public corruption offenses during Mr. Lausch’s tenure.

From 2018 to 2020, Mr. Lausch served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC), which consists of a select number of U.S. Attorneys who advise the Attorney General on policy, management, and operational issues impacting federal prosecutors’ offices across the country.  Mr. Lausch also served on several AGAC subcommittees, including as Chair of the Violent and Organized Crime Subcommittee, and as a member of the White Collar Fraud, Controlled Substances, and Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking subcommittees.  Mr. Lausch was also tasked by three Attorneys General to perform significant assignments related to sensitive matters of national importance.

Mr. Lausch earned his law degree in 1996 from Northwestern University School of Law, and his bachelor’s degree in 1992 from Harvard University.  He previously served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office as an Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1999 to 2010. 

Before taking over as First Assistant U.S. Attorney in 2022, Mr. Pasqual spent nearly 33 years in the office as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, including in several supervisory roles.  Mr. Pasqual will assume the role of U.S. Attorney on an acting basis until a presidentially appointed candidate is confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Updated March 1, 2023