Former New York DEA Investigator Convicted Of Enticing A Minor To Have Sex And Child Pornography Charges

Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the conviction in Manhattan federal court of FREDERICK L. SCHEININ for attempted production of child pornography, attempted receipt of child pornography, and attempted enticement of a minor.  The jury convicted SCHEININ today following a five-day trial before U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff.    

U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “As a DEA investigator, Frederick Scheinin was tasked with the important job of protecting the public from the illegal diversion and abuse of prescription drugs, but he betrayed the public trust by spending months trying to prey on a minor for his sexual pleasure.  Scheinin now stands convicted of these heinous crimes.  This office and our law enforcement partners will continue to work tirelessly to detect and apprehend those who pose a threat to children.”

Up until the time of his arrest, SCHEININ was an investigator in the New York Field Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”).  According to the Indictment, documents previously filed in the case, and evidence introduced at trial:

Between October 2019 and January 2020, SCHEININ communicated with an undercover law enforcement officer (“UC‑1”) who was posing as a 14-year-old boy.  During the course of hundreds of graphic text communications and multiple real-time conversations, SCHEININ repeatedly sent sexually explicit images and videos to UC-1 in an attempt to persuade UC-1 to transmit sexually explicit images, photos, and live visual depictions of UC-1 to SCHEININ.  In particular, SCHEININ repeatedly asked UC-1 to transmit images and videos of UC-1’s penis and anus.  SCHEININ also attempted to arrange a meeting with UC-1 at which SCHEININ planned to have sex with UC-1.  Law enforcement arrested SCHEININ on January 16, 2020, in New York, New York, at the location where SCHEININ said he would meet UC-1.  SCHEININ was in possession of a condom and lubricant at the time of his arrest. 

SCHEININ, 33, was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals following the return of the verdict.  Attempted production of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; attempted receipt of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and attempted enticement of a minor carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and maximum sentence of life in prison.  SCHEININ is scheduled to be sentenced on September 23, 2021, at 4:00 p.m.

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Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the New York City Police Department and the New York Field Office of the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General.  Ms. Strauss also thanked the New York DEA office for its assistance in the matter.

The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Nicholas W. Chiuchiolo and Daniel G. Nessim are in charge of the prosecution.

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