Former Brooklyn Prosecutor Pleads Guilty Over Allegations Of Forging Judges’ Signatures To Wiretap
By Nethani Palmani | Apr 04, 2017 02:46 PM EDT
A former Brooklyn prosecutor pleaded guilty on Monday to allegations of forging judges' signatures to wiretap two people and listen to their conversations. The wiretapping occurred between 2015 and 2016.
Tara Lenich, 41, pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court to two federal counts of illegal wiretapping charges, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported. The former Brooklyn prosecutor allegedly forged wiretap orders to keep tabs on a male cop and a female colleague.
Lenich admitted that her conducts were illegal. "I would just like to apologize and say that I'm so sorry for my actions and anyone it affected," the former Brooklyn prosecutor said.
The former Brooklyn prosecutor allegedly forged signatures of judges on 24 wiretap authorizations on two cellphones in 2015 and 2016 and forged warrants for text messages. She also used grand jury subpoenas to get information on numbers called by the target phones.
During the hearing, Lenich admitted to using a computer to monitor the phones. According to the court statement, the former Brooklyn prosecutor covered her tracks by lying to fellow prosecutors in the units he helped to run by telling them she was conducting a confidential investigation, and that she was the only one who is permitted access to the wiretaps.
Sources revealed last year that her conduct involved a "personal entanglement," according to ABA Journal. In fact, investigators discovered that the tapped phones belonged to another prosecutor and Lenich's love interest.
Lenich was the deputy chief of special investigations in the Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau of the Brooklyn district attorney's office before she was fired in November 2016. The former Brooklyn prosecutor apologized during her plea before Judge William Kuntz in U.S. District Court of Brooklyn.
Lenich would face a minimum term up to10 years in prison, alongside 8 to 14 months recommended under federal sentencing guidelines although defense lawyers suggest the former Brooklyn prosecutor could get probation. No sentencing date has been set.