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Lesko sworn in as Acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York

March 23, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Mark J. Lesko has now become the new United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, succeeding Seth DuCharme.  

Acting U.S. Attorney Lesko was sworn in Monday by U.S. Judge for the Eastern District of New York Margo K. Brodie.  He has served as the first assistant United States attorney since March 2019.  In that role, he was second-in-command of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and a key decision-maker in both criminal prosecutions and civil litigation in the office.  

“It is an absolute honor and privilege to serve as the acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Lesko.  “After having spent many years on the line prosecuting federal crimes, as well as significant time overseeing prosecutions and civil cases in a wide range of supervisory positions, I look forward to leading the office and working with our law enforcement and agency partners to protect and serve the Eastern District’s more than 8 million residents. 

“I’m also particularly proud that I get to continue to work with the outstanding and dedicated women and men in the office as they continue their tireless efforts to prosecute criminal cases and defend the interests of the United States, all in the unwavering pursuit of the fair administration of equal justice under the law,” he said.

In October 2018, Lesko returned to the office and assumed the position of special counsel to the U.S. attorney before he was appointed to the position of first assistant U.S. attorney two years ago. He was a member of the prosecution team that won the trial conviction of Nxivm sex-cult founder Keith Raniere on all counts of a superseding indictment charging him with racketeering and racketeering conspiracy; sex trafficking, attempted sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy; forced labor conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy. 

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Lesko previously served in the office from 2002 to 2009. He served as the deputy chief of the Long Island Criminal Division and as a computer hacking and intellectual property coordinator. While in the office, he conducted complex and wide-ranging criminal investigations and handled numerous jury trials and appeals. 

His most notable cases include the prosecutions of the former CEO and CFO of Symbol Technologies; a titanium-manufacturing company and its CEO for illegal storage of hazardous waste; two fraudulent financiers of a major motion picture; and a Colombo crime family associate. 

His trial convictions include a Nassau County couple who tortured two Indonesian domestic servants held in a condition of forced labor and servitude; gang members convicted of the racketeering murder of a man they mistakenly believed to be a member of the MS-13; and the leader of a robbery crew based in NYCHA’s Louis H. Pink Houses in East New York who was responsible for more than 50 armed robberies.

Before he joined the Eastern District, he served as an assistant United States attorney for the District of Columbia from 1999 to 2002, where he was in the Homicide/Major Crimes Section and handled numerous jury trials and appellate arguments. He also worked as an associate at the law firms of Miller & Chevalier in Washington, D.C. and Kirkpatrick & Lockhart in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (now K&L Gates). He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1989 and his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1994.

Lesko has also y served as the vice president for economic development, the executive dean of the Center for Entrepreneurship and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Hofstra University. Before working at Hofstra, he also  served as the executive director of Accelerate Long Island, a regional collaboration between Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Hofstra University, Northwell Health and Stony Brook University that oversaw a seed-stage investment program for biotech companies in New York City and on Long Island. 

In addition, he was the three-time elected supervisor of the Town of Brookhaven.

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