Tara Lenich allegedly forged signatures on 20 court orders to tap two cellphones belonging to a married love interest and a suspected romantic rival, another female ADA out of the same Brooklyn office, who is married with children
Brooklyn federal prosecutors accused Tara Lenich of illegally wiretapping two cell phones in the indictment unsealed Monday morning.
They said she also cooked up fraudulent search warrants in order to unlawfully get her hands on the text messages relating to the two telephones.
Love tango in Brooklyn DA’s office! Prosecutor Tara Lenich, accused of forging judges’ signatures authorizing wiretapping on love interests
To keep her eyes and ears, on narcotics detective Jarrett Lemieux, Lenich allegedly forged the signatures of multiple Brooklyn judges in the state system. Lenich, who is single, and Lemieux worked together for 11 years.
Authorities say NYPD detective Jarrett Lemieux, a married father-of-two was the target of a yearlong cellphone wiretap illegally executed by an apparently jealous Brooklyn prosecutor. Lenich reportedly believe she was in a relationship with Lemieux and he had dumped her.
Brooklyn prosecutor Tara Lenich arrives court for her Monday night arraignment, on Nov 28, 2016
The two had worked together on a lengthy gun-running probe in 2014 that uncovered gun-trafficking from Georgia to New York by Delta Airlines workers.
Other sources said the investigators uncovered the jealous Brooklyn prosecutor had also tapped the phone of another Assistant District Attorney.
Lenich also allegedly spied on a woman in her own office, fellow prosecutor Stephanie Rosenfeld-Vais, in the belief that she and Lemieux had become romantically involved.
The second target, Rosenfeld-Vais, is also married with two young children.
Lenich, ex-deputy chief of the Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, kept her colleagues from inquiring about the year-long wiretaps by claiming she was conducting a “secret investigation” with the Internal Affairs Bureau.
A staffer at the DA’s office recognized Rosenfeld-Vais’ number on some paperwork and alerted higher-ups, sources said. Subsequent searches of Lenich’s computer and an attached thumb drive turned up copies of the forged court orders.
Lenich’s old colleagues at the Brooklyn DA’s office already have a pending case against her. The state case charges Lenich with 20 counts of possession of a forged instrument and two counts of eavesdropping. The papers reportedly, were forged on 20 occasions with various judges’ names, and the scheme went on for an entire year.
But the state charges are going to be dismissed at some point this week, according to a source familiar with the matter, and substituted with federal charges.
Lenich was arrested in her office in November 2016 and ultimately fired.
“Tara Lenich violated her duty to the public when she engaged in a long-running scheme to forge judicial documents in order to illegally wiretap telephones,” said Acting Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde.
NYPD detective Jarrett Lemieux, who authorities say was the target of a year long cellphone wiretap illegally executed by an apparently jealous Brooklyn prosecutor
The federal prosecutor said the case showed the office’s “commitment to protecting the public from the misuse of law enforcement tools, particularly by those entrusted to use those tools in accordance with the laws they have sworn to uphold.”
Court records and sources said Lenich brought the bogus wiretap authorizations to Verizon and AT&T between June 2015 and November 2016.
When news broke of the state case against Lenich, sources said at the time Lenich was using the fake wiretaps to monitor Lemieux’s calls to another Brooklyn prosecutor.
Lenich “told junior level ADAs in the office and detective investigators that the wiretaps are a part of an Internal Affairs investigation that she was spearheading and monitoring.”
But a staffer in the DA’s office thought there could be problems with the probe because it was going on longer than a year. Sources said that staffer told superiors, who looped in William Schaeffer, the chief of the investigations division, and Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
Lenich who was the deputy bureau chief of the Violence Criminal Enterprise Bureau from 2014 until the signature forgery debacle.
Det. Jarret Lemieux himself was stripped of his badge and gun when investigators discovered he had allegedly threatened Lenich on either the illegal wiretaps or cell phone records.
The former Assistant District Attorney is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment Monday afternoon.
She is charged with two counts of illegal interception of communications. Lenich is looking at up to five years’ incarceration on each count.