By PAUL FRANGIPANE
A former Brooklyn prosecutor was indicted Monday on federal charges that she forged multiple judges’ signatures to illegally wiretap calls and receive text messages.
Tara Lenich, 41, was accused of illegally wiretapping two cell phones for over a year. She pleaded innocent to the charges at U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on Monday afternoon and was released on $500,000 bond, authorities said.
Lenich was arrested in November and fired from her position as a supervisory assistant district attorney, according to the federal indictment.
Lenich allegedly ripped previous signatures from judges and taped them onto orders for wiretaps that the judges never actually saw.
The wiretaps were used to spy on Det. Jarrett Lemieux, who worked with Lenich for 11 years, according to a report by the Daily News.
Lenich, formerly deputy chief of the Violent Criminal Enterprise Bureau in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, allegedly submitted false documents to secure what were bogus wiretapping warrants. She also allegedly created false orders to intercept text messages from the cell phones.
“In this case, as alleged, Lenich’s illegal wiretapping scheme demonstrates an abuse of power that won’t be tolerated within our criminal justice system,” William F. Sweeney, assistant FBI director in charge of the agency’s New York office, said in a press release. “Unfortunately, sometimes those close to the law stray far from the truth. As demonstrated today, however, everyone is expected to play by the rules; for this we’ll make no exceptions.”
Lenich’s attorney, Gary Farrell, could not be reached for comment.
Lenich is charged with two counts of illegal interception of communications and could face up to five years in prison for each count if convicted.