Mark J. Lesko has begun serving as Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, as per the Vacancies Reform Act.
Lesko was sworn in yesterday by United States Chief Judge for the Eastern District of New York, Margo K. Brodie.
Lesko has served as the First Assistant United States Attorney since March 2019. In that role, he has been 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.
Lesko succeeds Seth D. DuCharme, who resigned on March 19, 2021.
“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 eight 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.”
In October 2018, Mr. Lesko returned to the Office and assumed the position of Special Counsel to the United States Attorney before he was appointed to the position of First Assistant United States Attorney two years ago. Mr. Lesko was a member of the prosecution team that won the trial conviction of Nxivm 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.
Lesko made the final closing arguments in the trial as well as examining several of the key witnesses in the case, including Mark Vicente.
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, Lesko 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 violations of the Resource Conservation Recovery Act for illegal storage of hazardous waste; two fraudulent financiers of a major motion picture; and a Colombo associate. His trial convictions include a Muttontown, New York 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 the Louis H. Pink Houses in East New York who was responsible for more than 50 armed robberies throughout New York City and Long Island.
Prior to joining the Office, 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 previously 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. Prior to Hofstra, Mr. Lesko 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. Before Accelerate Long Island, Mr. Lesko was the three-time elected Supervisor of the Town of Brookhaven, New York State’s second-largest town with a population of 486,000 residents.