Skip to comments.U.S. Attorney Formally Charges Larry Mendte
Posted on 07/21/2008 1:08:18 PM PDT by Dog
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia announced Monday that it has charged former CBS 3 anchor Larry Mendte with a felony count of intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization. The government's case against Mendte, 51, is set out in an "Information" the formal charging document. The Information charges Mendte with one count of intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization and thereby obtaining information in furtherance of a tortious act.
The Information says Mendte accessed the private e-mail accounts of former co-anchor Alycia Lane hundreds of times from from his Chestnut Hill home, his vacation home, KYW and another location and leaked information to a newspaper reporter.
"This case is no different than someone stealing your locked brief case with confidential, attorney client information, prying it open and helping themselves to the content," said acting United States Attorney Laurie Magid.
The Information states that the computer tampering began as early as March 2006 and continued until about May 28, 2008. The investigation found that defendant Lawrence Mendte gained access to private e-mail accounts of Alycia Lane and read her e-mail messages. According to the Information, Mendte's actions were "without authorization, and intentionally exceeded authorized access to computers at KYW."
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, the federal investigation found that between January 1, 2008 and May 28, 2008 the defendant engaged in a systematic pattern of intrusion of not a dozen incidents, not a hundred incidents, but logged into Ms. Lane's personal accounts 537 times. According to the federal documents, Mendte accessed private communications between the victim and others, including attorney-client privileged information relating to both criminal litigation in which Lane was involved in New York and civil litigation Lane brought against KYW in Philadelphia. The U.S. Attorney's Office alleges that information was passed on to a reporter at the Philadelphia Daily News.
"The defendant accessed the e-mails, downloaded them and as the information alleges, he repeatedly leaked them to a newspaper reporter. Among the e-mails, he viewed and forwarded were numerous attorney client communications. We allege that the defendant leaked that information in an attempt to undermine his former colleague's ongoing legal cases," Magid said.
Mendte was released from his contract in June following an independent investigation by CBS.
Following the formal charge, Mendte's attorney, Michael Schwartz issued the following statement:
"The information filed today should not come as a surprise to anyone as we continually have said from day one Larry has been cooperating fully with the investigators. He continues to cooperate and will accept full responsibility for his actions."
Mendte is expected to surrender for arraignment in the coming weeks. The U.S. Attorney says that while the crime carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison, under current sentencing guidelines Mendte is more likely to be to be sentenced to zero to six months.
Hey I think this brian surgeon was a reporter in Chicago at one time
So you can illegally access someone's email account, and leak their private discussions with a lawyer as well as personal communications in an attempt to undermine their legal case against their former employer and then get a slap on the wrist for it?
I don't care if he cooperated with the police after he was caught or not. He needs to spend at least a year behind bars, and have a felony record for doing this.
I worked with Mendte in San Diego. He borrowed my glove for a softball game and never returned it. Larry was an “on the surface” nice guy, but I always felt there was the typical shallow anchor-type personality to him.
What penalty is the reporter at the Philadelphia Daily News facing for his/her part in the conspiracy?
I thought the name sounded familiar. What channel was he on.
Stealing a mans glove should be a capital offense. ;)
He was, about 16 or 17 years ago. He and Lester Holt were at WBBM, the CBS Station.
I was in the business as well at the time, and I used to ridicule Mendte and Holt on various message boards on AOL that were devoted to Chicago media.
The best part was that Mendte and Holt would show up to defend themselves-- but between them I don't think they had a functioning brain cell. It was almost cruel, the logic traps that they fell into.
I had quite a following, such as it was, pointing out their stupidity and liberal bias. I think one or the other of them offered to 'kick my ass' if I ever showed up over there. Dang, that was fun.
Looks a little like Steve Doocey
“.........then get a slap on the wrist for it?......”
Think Sandy Burglar.
KYW's newscast sucks now. Susan Barnett and Chris May are darn near unwatchable. The only reason I still watch the show is for Kathy Orr's weather. I can't stand any of the other news shows either. I miss Alycia!!!
He was the weatherman on KFMB (Channel 8, CBS). He usually pointed at stuff on the map will a rolled up piece of paper. You could tell Larry was a very bright guy, but there was a feeling you just could not get close to him. Most anchors I have met would not fall into the “bright” category.
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