Prosecutors have charged a retired Los Angeles police detective, two private investigators and a fourth person in connection with the use of a Los Angeles Police Department computer to obtain confidential records, authorities said Tuesday.
Robert Muldrew, 48, was accused of trading confidential information to a west county private detective agency. He and private investigators Steven Kudler, 35, and David Westland, 28, were charged with unauthorized computer access, conspiracy and fraudulent telecommunications access, Deputy Dist. Atty. Efrem Grail said.
A fourth suspect, Joan Jayasinghe, has also been charged but a district attorney's spokeswoman did not give any details about her involvement. The defendants could face up to six years in prison if convicted, Grail said.
The defendants could face up to six years in prison if convicted of the charges, Grail said.
The charges stem from a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigation, which court papers allege demonstrated a pattern of selling private information to clients.
Undercover investigators obtained illegal documents from the Calabasas and Westlake-based private detective agency, Investigations West, some of which were traced back to Muldrew, according to court documents.
In an Oct. 21, 1994 search of both Muldrew's desk at the LAPD's Devonshire Division and his Chatsworth home, investigators found additional evidence of the 26-year veteran's alleged illegal trade with Investigations West, according to court papers.
Muldrew obtained the confidential material, which included driver's license photographs, by entering a confidential law enforcement database through a computer at the Devonshire station, Grail said. Grail said Kudler and Westland allegedly obtained customer billing records from telephone companies, personal credit reports from credit agencies and customer account records from a local bank.
Arraignment of the four suspects is scheduled for Sept. 7. Grail said the investigation into how the documents were obtained is continuing.