Skip to comments.Hollywood private eye indicted on racketeering charges - Anthony Pellicano
Posted on 02/06/2006 11:41:44 AM PST by NormsRevenge
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Celebrity private eye Anthony Pellicano pleaded not guilty Monday to racketeering charges contained in an indictment alleging he paid police officers and others to access confidential records and provide him with information.
The indictment was unsealed but not immediately released.
Attorney Steven Gruel, who represents Pellicano, said the indictment detailed 105 counts against his client.
In addition to racketeering, he was charged with unauthorized computer access, interception of wire communications and possession of a wiretapping device, the lawyer said.
Gruel declined further comment on the charges. He briefly made a copy of the indictment available to The Associated Press. It said the private detective "paid bribes to corrupt public officials."
Officers with the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police departments accessed confidential records and provided information to Pellicano, the indictment said. A phone company employee also aided Pellicano, the document said.
Pellicano, 61, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen J. Hillman during the brief hearing. Trial was set for April 4.
Pellicano has worked for a galaxy of Hollywood stars, such as Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Sylvester Stallone. High-profile lawyers and agents also have enlisted Pellicano's services.
But prosecutors haven't disclosed if any famous names might be tied to the investigation or testified before a grand jury.
"Everybody wonders who is going to take the fall," said Laurie Levenson, a professor at Loyola Law School and a former federal prosecutor.
"He's like (Jack) Abramoff. You just hope you didn't get your picture taken with him," Levenson said, referring to the lobbyist who recently pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges.
Pellicano was released Friday from a federal prison in Taft after completing a 2 1/2-year sentence for possessing illegal weapons, prison spokeswoman Pam Jones said. He was transferred to San Bernardino County Jail, which is sometimes used by the federal government to house its detainees, said Jimell Griffin, an inspector for the U.S. Marshals Service.
Pellicano looked thin and frail on Monday as he appeared in court with chains around his waist and wrists.
"I think he was hoping to get out of jail and was ... annoyed with an indictment that coincides with his release from federal prison," Gruel said. "It seems to be an odd coincidence."
The investigation has led to some arrests. Last month, former Beverly Hills police officer Craig Stevens, 45, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and four counts of unauthorized access of protected computers to commit fraud.
Sandra Carradine, 58, the ex-wife of actor Keith Carradine, pleaded guilty to two counts of perjury.
Both are scheduled to be sentenced later this year.
Robert Pfeifer, former president of Hollywood Records, also has been arrested in connection with the case, his attorney Leonard Sharenow said. Although charges against the 50-year-old music industry executive weren't immediately revealed, Sharenow said Pfeifer hired Pellicano in 2000 over a dispute with a former employer.
Sharenow said he and Pfeifer met with federal prosecutors in 2004 and "thought we answered all their questions."
"He's upset of course," Sharenow said of his client, who was arrested Friday. "He believes he never did anything wrong and he's going to fight this."
Prominent entertainment lawyer Bert Fields, who often hired Pellicano as an investigator, has said he was questioned by federal agents. The attorney has denied any wrongdoing.
Before he went into prison, Pellicano said he wouldn't cooperate in the wiretapping probe and would protect the confidentiality of his clients.
Pellicano has made his career living in the limelight. He first gained acclaim in 1977 after locating the remains of Taylor's third husband after they were stolen from an Illinois cemetery.
He also helped auto maker John DeLorean win acquittal on cocaine trafficking charges in the early 1980s and was hired by Jackson to refute child molestation claims in 1993. Jackson ended up settling out of court with the accuser's family for a reported $15 million to $20 million.
Pellicano's troubles began in 2002 when prosecutors claim he hired Alexander Proctor to threaten Anita Busch, then a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, who was working on a story about actor Steven Seagal and possible links to the Mafia.
Proctor allegedly went to Busch's home, placed a dead fish with a rose in its mouth on the windshield of her car and made a bullet-sized hole in her windshield. He also placed a sign with the word "stop" on the windshield, court documents show.
The FBI later raided Pellicano's office, found illegal explosives and seized documents and computers.
Pellicano and Proctor each face one count of making criminal threats and one count of conspiracy but neither have yet entered a plea. Proctor is serving a 10-year prison term in Illinois on unrelated drug charges.
Celebrity private investigator Anthony Pellicano is shown at a news conference in Los Angeles in this Aug. 24, 1993, file photo. Hollywood's rumor mill has churned over the past few months in anticipation of the outcome of a three-year FBI investigation into suspected illegal wiretapping by Pellicano. Answers may be revealed Monday, Feb. 6, 2006, when Pellicano is expected to be arraigned on unspecified federal charges. Prosecutors haven't disclosed if any famous names might be tied to the investigation or have testified before a grand jury. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Sounds like a good episode of Simon and Simon.
Get a load of his lawyer's name. Sounds like thin gruel to me.
From an old News Max article:
Hillary's Detective Charged with Intimidation
A top Los Angeles private detective who helped Hillary Clinton quash her husband's "bimbo eruptions" in 1992 has been charged with making criminal threats and with conspiracy to commit a crime.
Prosecutors say that Anthony Pellicano - known as the "Private Eye to the Stars" - hired a second man to threaten Los Angeles Times reporter Anita Busch, in a bid to "cause her to fear for her life."
Hollywood filth bump
MSM at it again!
From my post #11 on that thread:
Senior Bush White House advisor Mary Matalin, however, says that Pellicano played a critical role in Mr. Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign by suppressing inconvenient accounts from several women who had alleged affairs with Mr. Clinton.The link I posted discusses the Flowers and Lewinsky cases in detail. Pellicano was apparently the master behind the "nuts and sluts" defense. Also see # 16 and # 18 on Sally Perdue.
(Have responded to editor's when Clinton Inc. not
mentioned. . .)
As long as they are celebrity 'name-dropping' let's be honest and hear it for America's famous couple. . .
Just good to let them know. . .we know and that we expect to hear more. . .