Are you aware that this kind of thing is going on every day in your state? Now here’s a character for you. Where else could this happen? Smart, clever, intelligent and as crooked as the letter “C”. This should make your hair stand on end. His name? “ Anthony Pellicano.” Here are a few tid-bits on Mr. Pellicano.
Anthony Pellicano is a former high-profile Los Angeles private investigator who recently served a sentence of three and a half years in federal prison for illegal possession of explosives, firearms and homemade grenades.
Previously, on February 6, 2006, Pellicano was indicted on 110 counts in United States District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles alleging crimes of racketeering and conspiracy, wiretapping, witness tampering, identity theft and destruction of evidence. Six other associates were also charged. Pellicano was denied bail. Pellicano presently is being held in general population at the Federal Detention Center in Los Angeles. His trial, and that of five other co-defendants, was scheduled to begin on February 27, 2008. The trial date was delayed three times, due to a lengthy discovery process, according to press reports, and for the addition of defense counsel. The indictment was amended on February 15, 2006, to include two more charges of wiretapping and extortion, at which time prominent entertainment attorney Terry Christensen was also charged. To date, thirteen people have been charged in the pending matter.
On June 7, 2006, the "Associated Press" reported that Pellicano performed an illegal background check on a law enforcement official who was investigating client and con artist Christophe Rocancourt in a fake passport scheme. Pellicano and Christensen were each convicted 08/29/2008 of conspiracy to commit wiretapping. Pellicano was also convicted of wiretapping and Christensen was also convicted of aiding and abetting a wiretap. The two were accused of secretly recording phone conversations of Kerkorian's ex-wife, Lisa Bonder Kerkorian, in an effort to disprove her claims that the "MGM" mogul was the father of her daughter.
The 64-year-old defendants each face up to 10 years in federal prison and $500,000 in fines upon sentencing Nov. 17, 2008 by U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer.
On Nov. 12, 2008 the "Los Angeles Times" reported that Pellicano's sentencing had been postponed until Dec. 15, 2008
On May 15, 2008, after acting as his own lawyer and suffering a nine day jury deliberation, Pellicano was found guilty on 76 of 77 counts related to racketeering, along with four co-defendants. However, a parade of wealthy witnesses admitted they knew about, paid for and listened to wiretaps, but were not charged. They included Alec Gores, a billionaire corporate buyout specialist; Freddy DeMann, a music executive who was once Madonna’s manager; Adam D. Sender, a hedge fund manager and onetime movie investor; and Andrew Stevens, an actor turned movie producer.
In a subsequent six-week Federal Court trial, Pellicano was convicted of wiretapping and conspiracy to commit wiretapping. Facing 78 guilty counts,and not being allowed to co-serve his two convictions, Pellicano was sentenced in December 2008 to 15 additional years in prison, and ordered (with two other defendants) to forfeit $2 million.
Related investigations and celebrity connections: Recognize any of these names?
On January 11, 2006, Pellicano's girlfriend Sandra Will Carradine, the ex-wife of actor Keith Carradine, and veteran Beverly Hills police officer Craig Stevens pleaded guilty to lying about the former detective's use of wiretaps and other illegal tactics. “Vanity Fair” magazine reported in 2004 that the FBI has also questioned Warren Beatty and Shandling about the matter.
On March 17, 2006, the "Page Six" gossip column in the "New York Post" reported that actress Nicole Kidman was questioned by the FBI as part of the ongoing Pellicano investigation. Telephone voice recordings of Kidman speaking to Cruise were found when authorities first raided Pellicano's offices in 2002. The tapes were allegedly made in 2001, shortly after Kidman and former husband Tom Cruise announced they were separating. Cruise used lawyer Dennis Wasser to negotiate his separation, and Wasser regularly retained Pellicano's services. Although he has not been charged in the case, Wasser has been told by the FBI he is a "person of interest."
On April 3, 2006, film director John McTiernan was charged in federal court with lying to the FBI. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, McTiernan was charged with an information, rather than in grand jury indictment, which means he waived his right to an indictment and suggests he may have reached either a prior plea agreement with prosecutors or some sort of cooperating agreement. He was sentenced on September 24, 2007, to four months in prison for lying about his relationship with Pelicano. McTiernan was arraigned and pled guilty on April 17, 2006.
On August 10, 2006, the "Los Angeles Times" reported that billionaire Kirk Kerkorian's attorneys have been sued by his former wife Lisa Bonder's attorney because of their connection to Pellicano. Bonder's attorney alleges that Kerkorian's lawyers hired Pellicano to wiretap telephone calls illegally between him and Bonder in order to gain a tactical advantage in the Kerkorian divorce proceedings. While working for Kerkorian, Pellicano investigated his friend Steve Bing, testing a strand of used dental floss taken from Bing's trash and proving Bing had fathered Bonder's daughter.
According to an FBI summary, Pellicano was known to play Hollywood clients against each other, at one point asking financier Ron Burkle for a $100,000 to $250,000 shakedown not to be investigated by Michael Ovitz, another Pellicano client. In a twist to the case on April 12, 2007, The "New York Times" revealed evidence that movie producer Steve Bing, while also being investigated by Pellicano, also paid Pellicano $335,000 between June 2000 and August 2002. Excerpts from audiotapes show Pellicano bragging to Kerkorian's lawyer in April and May 2002 that he was "working for" and "consulting for" Bing in matters related to Elizabeth Hurley and her pregnancy (the paternity of which initially Bing disputed). A lawyer for Bing, Martin Singer, called Pellicano's statement regarding Hurley "an absolute lie." (In 2003, the "Daily Mail" retracted a story and reportedly paid a "substantial" settlement to Bing after Pellicano's sworn statement that he had "never been engaged by Mr. Bing nor his attorney Mr. Martin Singer to investigate anyone on Mr. Bing’s behalf, including Ms. Hurley."
And I have more colorful characters to tell you about. So, stay tuned.