With approximately 20 years of service in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota, First Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas W. Chase is to replace the outgoing U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley in the highest position in the Office, by virtue of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. U.S. Attorney Wrigley is among the 55 presidentially appointed U.S. Attorneys who have been requested to step down on or before February 28, 2021, according to an announcement made previously by Acting U.S. Attorney General Monty Wilkinson on February 9, 2021. Wrigley has tendered his resignation to President Joe Biden on February 23, 2021. As such, Nicholas W. Chase is expected to assume the position on March 1, 2021, until the Biden Administration has appointed a successor.
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Current First Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas W. Chase has been designated to serve as the Acting United States Attorney for North Dakota upon the departure of the outgoing U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley, who announced he’s stepping down on February 23, 2021. United States Attorney Wrigley has submitted a brief letter to President-elect Joe Biden declaring his resignation, effective February 28, 2021, in light of the recent announcement made by Acting U.S. Attorney General Robert M. “Monty” Wilkinson on behalf of the United States Department of Justice last February 9, 2021. The announcement was made to request the 55 remaining Trump-appointed U.S. Attorneys to step down and make way for new U.S. Attorneys under the Biden Administration, as is customary in the transition into a new administration. First Assistant United States Attorney Nick Chase will officially take over in the highest position in the Office on March 1, 2021, pursuant to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. The appointment of Nick Chase as interim Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official shall remain in effect for the next 300 days, or until President Joe Biden and the Senate have appointed and confirmed a new United States Attorney for the District of North Dakota.
Educational Background and State Bar Admissions
Top Federal Prosecutor Nicholas Chase is an honors graduate of the Minot State University and is also a law graduate of the University of North Dakota Law School. He earned his Juris Doctorate. He was first granted admission into the State Bar Association of North Dakota on September 22, 1995, keeping an active status ever since. Acting U.S. Attorney Nick Chase was also previously granted admission into the Minnesota State Bar Association in 1998 but has recently become an inactive member of the association.
Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas Chase has authored the Civil Rights – Employment Discrimination: Modifying Federal Standards to Reflect Principles of State Law: The North Dakota Supreme Court’s Examination of the Hicks Rationale Prompts the Court to Customize Its Own Standard to Review State-Based Employment Discrimination Claims, which has been published in 1994 under the North Dakota Law Review Volume 70.
The Acting United States Attorney Chase has launched his legal career through serving as a Judicial Law Clerk under the United States Magistrate Judge Karen Klein of the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota, and also under the Honorable Myron Bright of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit. Subsequent to his Judicial Clerkships, U.S. Attorney Nick Chase shifted to private practice and worked in a law firm in the Fargo-Moorhood area for a short while. He then moved to Minneapolis and practiced law under a different law firm prior to switching to government service and joining the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of North Dakota.
In 2002, Acting U.S. Attorney Chase was first appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of North Dakota, under the branch office in Fargo. Within his almost two decades of service in the Office, U.S. Attorney Chase has provided efficient and effective service and leadership, which has led to the prosecution of numerous cases, including handling major financial fraud criminal cases and identity theft prosecutions, among other federal criminal cases. On May 29, 2019, six weeks after his appointment by former President Donald Trump, former U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley has named now interim Chief Federal Prosecutor Nicholas Chase as the head of the management team. Being second-in-command in the Office, U.S. Attorney Nick Chase was responsible for overseeing all of the daily operations of the United States Attorney’s Office.
Notable Prosecutions by Acting U.S. Attorney Chase
U.S. Attorney Nicholas Chase is a well-recognized prosecutor in the Office. He is known to have distinguished himself in the legal field, which has also been noted by former U.S. Attorney Wrigley, once calling him one of the most extraordinary lawyers to come through the Office. Among the most significant prosecutions that U.S. Attorney Chase has previously led was the case of the massive credit card scheme involving a Nigerian native who was convicted for stealing thousands of identities. Another notable prosecution of U.S. Attorney Chase was the 2017 transnational organized crime involving a lottery scam, resulting in the extradition of eight suspects from Jamaica on fraud charges. The conspiracy scheme was said to have defrauded at least 90 individuals, most of which are elderly U.S. residents, out of more than $5.7 million. The prosecution of the Jamaican lottery scam has been said to have impacted the Office of the United States Attorney for North Dakota positively. It has then led to an increase in international convictions.
Statement Regarding the 2017 Jamaican Lottery Scam
In the years of doing fraud investigations, Acting U.S. Attorney Chase has developed expertise in this particular area of prosecution. He noted in a statement in 2019 that fraudsters attack whoever they can and leave their victims harmed, specifically damaging their psychological well-being. Moreover, he noted that fraudsters, despite targeting the elderly, are very well capable of using sophisticated techniques to trick large corporations. In this regard, he hopes that more people would be rid of the misconception that victims are fools for being susceptible to fraud and acknowledging that anyone can be targeted.
“In the years of doing fraud investigations, the most common misconception that if I had a magic wand, I would fix, is people read those stories and think ‘what an idiot.’ And that is not understanding the transaction. I’ve prosecuted so many fraudsters. They all think they’re smart, and every victim I talk to is victimized in a way that is harmful to their psychological well-being. Fraudsters often select targets using complicated and sophisticated techniques that can trick even large corporations. Chase said everyone is susceptible to the scams, although elderly people often are targeted.” said U.S. Attorney Nicholas Chase.
Now the incumbent interim Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official for the District of North Dakota, Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas W. Chase is responsible for leading the Office, which comprises approximately 62 employees, including 26 Assistant United States Attorneys designated in the branch offices in Fargo and Bismarck. Furthermore, he shall take charge of managing the prosecution of all federal crimes within the district, including crimes related to child exploitation, drug trafficking, fraud, firearms, human trafficking, narcotics, public corruption, terrorism, along other violent federal crimes. The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of North Dakota is also responsible for representing the United States in civil cases and collecting debts owed to the United States.
Full Name: Nicholas W. Chase
District/State: North Dakota
Public email ID: Nick.Chase@usdoj.gov
Fargo Branch Office
Quentin N. Burdick
United States Courthouse
U.S. Attorney’s Office
655 First Avenue North
Fargo, ND 58102-4932
Bismarck Branch Office
William L. Guy Federal Building
U.S. Attorney’s Office
220 East Rosser Ave
Bismarck, ND 58502-0699
Social Media Profiles of Nicholas Chase
Username: US Attorney N.Dakota
Updated: May 17, 2021