While juggling the heavy workload of a Baltimore city homicide prosecutor, Adam Chaudry was conducting covert side investigations into former romantic partners using the grand jury, he admitted Friday in U.S. District Court.
He subpoenaed one former girlfriend’s phone records 33 times. He asked an investigator in the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office to pull her driving record, and contacted employees at a hotel where she was staying, wanting to know how many beds her room had. He made spreadsheets of 67 of her phone contacts.
Chaudry, 43, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of fraud on Friday afternoon, and faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
The plea does not call for an agreed upon sentence, and U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett warned Chaudry that he could go above sentencing guidelines.
“The notion of a state prosecutor abusing his office ... in the face of the crime wave we face in this metropolitan area, in pursuit of some personal mission, is quite shocking to me,” Bennett said.
It’s unclear how the misuse of resources came to light. Chaudry was first charged in state court by the Office of the State Prosecutor in December 2021, and his defense attorneys pushed back, saying the case was without basis and “rife with legal and factual errors of which the state prosecutor is personally aware.”
Chaudry issued a resignation letter to the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office at the time, saying: “It is with a heavy heart that I tender this letter, but I truly believe that my departure at this stage is necessary to not provide a distraction to the admirable work done selflessly by every member of the team.”
The case was indicted by federal prosecutors in late September. Defense attorney Andrew C. White declined to comment after the plea hearing. Chaudry will be sentenced in March.
According to his plea agreement, Chaudry issued a total of 65 grand jury and trial subpoenas for five different people between January 2019 and April 2021.
Subpoenas issued by Chaudry said, “The information sought in this subpoena is relevant and material to a legitimate law enforcement inquiry.” Prosecutors said no one targeted by Chaudry’s records requests was a witness or target of any investigation.
The investigation found Chaudry started seeking the records of one victim, who he had dated for about 13 years until 2018, in early 2019. In March of that year, he sent her an email saying he believed she was in a relationship with someone else.
“It has been over a year now and I need you to move on. I was hoping by ignoring the texts, calls, and flowers, you would understand how I feel but now I will make it very clear,” she wrote back. “Please do not send me any more flowers or anything else, and please do not send anything to my job. ... Please do not stop by my house or try to ‘run’ into me anywhere else.”
That same month, he sought information from a hotel that showed up in her phone records. Investigators found handwritten notes that tracked her credit card, vehicle and number of beds in the room.
When Chaudry issued grand jury subpoenas, he listed the case number and defendant as “IN RE SPECIAL INVESTIGATION.”
For a second former romantic partner, he issued subpoenas for jail calls between the woman and a close relative who was incarcerated, and obtained that person’s visitors log. Notes he took after listening to the calls included the former partner’s family and banking information, prosecutors said.
One of the victims appeared in court for the plea hearing, occasionally shaking her head as Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Delaney read out the statement of facts.
Chaudry left the federal courthouse Friday afternoon, hand-in-hand with another woman.