Hacking case against New York auxiliary officer dismissed

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge has dismissed a charge against a New York City auxiliary police inspector who had been accused of hacking into law enforcement databases to defraud traffic accident victims.

The one-count indictment against Yehuda Katz, who was first charged in March, was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie in Brooklyn on Wednesday at the request of federal prosecutors.

In a letter on Monday, prosecutors said newly discovered evidence indicated Katz did not commit the crime. Prosecutors provided no further details about the evidence in the letter.

Katz had been set to face trial Dec. 14. His lawyer did

not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

Katz was a deputy inspector with the volunteer auxiliary police, which assist local police, assigned to a precinct in Brooklyn.

Prosecutors had alleged he installed a hidden camera and put electronic devices in a traffic safety office computer in order to access the computer and various law enforcement databases remotely using names and passwords of police officers.

Prosecutors had said Katz ran more than 6,400 queries through the databases between May and August 2014 in order to find people who had been involved in accidents.

He would then claim to be the “Katz and Katz law firm,” offering to charge 14 percent of any potential settlement, prosecutors had claimed.

(This version of the Nov 19 story corrects third paragraph to make clear prosecutors determined new evidence indicated no crime had been committed)

Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Bill Trott