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Meet the U.S. Attorney

William J. Hochul, Jr.

William J. Hochul, Jr., U.S. Attorney

United States Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr., is the United States Attorney for the Western District of New York. In this position, Mr. Hochul is responsible for overseeing the prosecution of any federal criminal case brought within the seventeen counties of Western New York. The Office also represents the United States in all civil matters brought within this territory. President Obama nominated Mr. Hochul for this position in 2009, and the Senate confirmed unanimously in 2010.

Mr. Hochul graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1981, and earned his law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School in 1984. Among his law school accomplishments, Mr. Hochul in 1982 won the Best Oralist award at the National Constitutional Law Moot Court competition held in North Carolina.

Mr. Hochul began his legal career in the Washington, D.C. area as a law clerk to a Maryland Court of Appeals Judge. At the conclusion of this appointment, Mr. Hochul joined the litigation section at the Washington Office of a large international law firm, where he represented a wide variety of clients in complex civil litigation matters, including racketeering and fraud-related lawsuits.

Mr. Hochul joined the Department of Justice in 1987 as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. While in Washington, Mr. Hochul prosecuted an extensive array of violent and white collar criminal cases, and later specialized in the prosecution of first-degree and gang-related murder cases.

Mr. Hochul joined the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York in 1991. In this capacity, Mr. Hochul prosecuted a large number of cases notorious violent and white collar criminals, racketeering and other complex schemes, and multiple cases targeting violent street gangs and emerging international organized crime groups. Mr. Hochul became Chief of the Office’s Anti-Terrorism Unit following September 11, 2001, and Chief of the National Security Division in 2006. While in these positions, Mr. Hochul served as lead prosecutor in several high-profile international terrorism cases, including the highly successful prosecution of the internationally known Lackawanna Six, a prosecution involving the first known instance of Americans traveling to train with al Qaeda.

Mr. Hochul frequently speaks, domestically and abroad, to law enforcement groups, attorneys, and judges on matters relating to investigating and prosecuting organized crime, gang, terrorism, and money laundering offenses. He served previously as an adjunct professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law, where he taught classes on trial techniques, at Niagara University, where he taught courses on terrorism, and at Hilbert College, where he taught a terrorism/homeland security course.

Mr. Hochul has received numerous awards and recognition for his work, including co-recipient of the 2003 Attorney Generals Award for Exceptional Service - the highest award of the United States Department of Justice. He also previously received the 2008 Citizen of the Year - Law Category Award; the 2008 Distinguished Leadership Award; a Special Achievement Award presented by United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency; a Service to America Award (2003); Investigator of the Year Award (2006), and was recognized by McGraw-Hills Engineer News-Record magazine as a Top 25 Newsmaker for having purged Niagara County, New York of decades of construction industry violence and intimidation.

Mr. Hochul is married to New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.  Mr. Hochul is the father of William III, an attorney in Washington, D.C., and Caitlin, who works in Maryland.

Updated September 16, 2015