Patterico's Pontifications

8/8/2011

NEWSWEEK Breaks Out the Pellicano Kneepads

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:34 am



Was it a condition of NEWSWEEK’s interview with federal prisoner Anthony Pellicano that they allow him to pretend without contradiction that he didn’t menace Anita Busch?

Hint to reporters: when someone pleads to something, it’s OK to say they did it.

With a Louisville Slugger in the trunk of his car and a computerized phone-hacking system in his Sunset Boulevard office, Pellicano dug up dirt on his clients’ enemies and helped make those problems go away—whether it was the embittered spouse of a mogul, an inconvenient gay lover, or a nosy journalist. That is, until he allegedly hired someone to intimidate the wrong nosy journalist—Anita Busch of the Los Angeles Times—and the FBI got involved, blowing the lid off the biggest wiretapping operation this side of Watergate.

What is this word “allegedly” doing there? Let’s review: this man pled no contest to threatening Busch in October 2009:

Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano and another man, accused of threatening reporter Anita Busch in 2002 to scare her off a story, pleaded no contest today to making a criminal threat.

But you’d never know it from the fellatio-as-news article interviewing Pellicano. They mention his federal convictions for possessing explosives, wiretapping, and the like — but allow him to pose as innocent of threatening Busch:

Pellicano gained access to Hollywood’s A-list after meeting celebrity power-attorney Bert Fields, who started using his services. Eventually, the detective was spying on Sylvester Stallone, comedian Garry Shandling, and Nicole Kidman. When he wasn’t digging through their dirty laundry, he was power-lunching with the stars, tooling around in his black Mercedes and dark sunglasses, and rubbing elbows with moguls like Ovitz, Universal Studios president Ron Meyer, and manager Brad Grey, now head of Paramount (Grey even attempted to make an HBO pilot with Pellicano, about a Hollywood detective).

It all came to a screeching halt in 2002, when federal agents started looking for evidence of his involvement in a plot to threaten the L.A. Times’s Busch—who had previously written about the downfall of Ovitz, and was now pursuing a story about alleged mob ties to movie star Steven Seagal. Busch discovered the windshield of her car smashed, and a dead fish left behind with a note reading “Stop.” (The man who vandalized Busch’s car, a Pellicano flunky named Alexander Proctor, told the FBI that he’d been hired by the detective. But Pellicano still maintains he had nothing to do with harassing Busch, who is suing him and Ovitz.)

“Maintain” it all you like, pal. You did it. You pled to it. NEWSWEEK won’t say it. I will.

Meanwhile, NEWSWEEK lets Pellicano portray himself as a hero:

Pellicano is currently appealing his conviction, and if he’s successful, he could be out by 2013, six years before his eligible parole date. He’s pinning his hopes on an 86-page appeals brief that accuses the government of misconduct, misrepresentation, and constitutional violation. Among other things, the brief charges that the agents’ search of his office was illegal. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has until late September to respond to the brief.

In the meantime, Pellicano has 30 civil lawsuits hanging over his head, including the one from Busch. Will Pellicano rat out anyone in the civil cases? Don’t count on it, says his attorney and friend Steven Gruel. “Everyone expected this to be the case that rocked Hollywood, and it didn’t happen, and it didn’t bring in the great names they hypothesized would happen,” the attorney says. “He wouldn’t buckle, and that is why he is in Big Spring, Texas, today.”

Yeah, that and all the crimes he committed.

The claim that the search of his office was illegal, by the way, is a story that disgraced Los Angeles Times reporter Chuck Philips tried mightily to push. This very blog you’re reading revealed that Philips liked the story so much, he wrote letters to inmates trying to get them to sign onto that story. The letters were phrased as follows: I don’t know if it’s true, but I’m told that the FBI tried to feed you a story about Pellicano . . . and you should know that they have admitted that some of your conversations were not recorded, so do you remember these things I am suggesting you should remember? Look at excerpts like this:

And this:

(Top of page 2)

Philips admitted to me that he had written these letters.

Meanwhile, Busch’s employer, the Los Angeles Times, treated Pellicano as the trustworthy one and Anita as a vaguely crazy person whose stories of being menaced were just a little suspect. If you haven’t pored through the links in this post before, do so now. They are eye-opening.

The media, and Busch’s employer, did its level best to conceal the full extent of the dirty business Pellicano was involved with, and Philips’s involvement in writing slanted stories to try to get Pellicano’s conviction reversed. The cover-up continues today with NEWSWEEK’s shameful story.

Thanks to C.B.

10/23/2009

Pellicano Pleads Guilty; Anita Busch Blasts “Unethical Idiots” at the L.A. Times

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:52 pm



Anthony Pellicano and Alexander Proctor pled guilty today to threatening former L.A. Times reporter Anita Busch. The sentence was three years, to be served concurrently with his 15-year federal sentence for wiretapping.

I asked Anita Busch tonight if she had a statement and she sent me this:

I’m very relieved all the criminal trials are over. If this had gone forward, I would have had to testify in two more criminal trials. It was seven years since my life was threatened, computer hacked into and my phones illegally wiretapped. What they did to me was an act of domestic terrorism, and they are both in prison where they belong. Everything I said has now come to pass. I can hold my head high because I told the truth the entire time. What I learned through this experience was that most people are afraid of the truth … and that includes certain unethical idiots at the Los Angeles Times. Not only did they lie about my employment status, but also called Anthony Pellicano for help on my case and then hid that from their own staff, from me and from law enforcement.

Believe it or not, that’s the toned-down version.

If you don’t know what she’s talking about, here’s some reading for you:

I have previously documented Busch’s allegations regarding the attempts by an L.A. Times lawyer to “bring aboard” Pellicano for help concerning the threats to Busch. This was remarkably bad judgment at a minimum, given Pellicano’s shady reputation and the fact that an informant had told Busch that a private detective was behind the threats on Busch’s life. I have also documented the incredibly shabby treatment Busch received at the hands of that lawyer and others at the paper. I also published Busch’s eye-opening sentencing statement after Pellicano’s wiretapping trial, as well as the L.A. Times‘s response, which I showed to be lacking.

UPDATE: Technically, he pled “no contest” and not “guilty.” But it’s legally the same, at least as far as the criminal court is concerned.

12/23/2008

Patterico Gets a Letter from Pellicano’s Lawyer

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:19 am



I came home last night to one of those lawyer-letters demanding that I retract certain statements on my blog. The letter was from Anthony Pellicano’s lawyer Michael Artan — delivered, in classic Pellicano style, by a messenger, to my home.

In several recent posts, I noted that Artan had reportedly made inconsistent statements about whether he knew who had given him an FBI report that was illegally obtained by FBI agent Mark Rossini. Far from clearing up the reported inconsistency, Artan’s letter to me only generates further questions.

In the letter, Artan specifically denies that he received an FBI report from Linda Fiorentino, saying: “Any suggestion that I received any FBI Report from Ms. Fiorentino is entirely false.” Artan thus seems to suggest that he knows who gave him the FBI report. Yet, according to a recent L.A. Times article, Artan says “he did not know then and does not know now who the source was” for the document — and that when questioned by government prosecutors about the provenance of the report, “he told them that he didn’t know where it came from.”

If he doesn’t know where he got it, then how does he know that he didn’t get it from Fiorentino?

I can’t retract things that I didn’t say to begin with — but I can be clear about what I did and didn’t say. And Mr. Artan’s letter accuses me of saying all sorts of things that I never said:

Here are the allegedly offending blog entries:

Mr. Artan says I have falsely accused him of making false statements in violation of the law, and of acting in concert with Linda Fiorentino and/or Mark Rossini. In fact, I have made no such accusations, and I’m not making them now.

What I have said is that there are news reports saying that Artan has made some puzzlingly inconsistent statements regarding where he obtained an FBI report — one that had been illegally accessed by an FBI agent. In making this observation, I relied on published news reports. In particular, according to a December 5, 2008 article by Scott Glover of the L.A. Times, Mr. Artan produced an FBI report in court, and told a judge that it had not been sent to him anonymously. Yet, according to the article, he told reporter Scott Glover that he didn’t know where it came from . . . and that he had told government prosecutors that he didn’t know where it came from:

Artan, the lawyer who represented Pellicano, said that he was questioned by prosecutors in the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., about how he had obtained the report and that he told them that he didn’t know where it came from.

He said he now assumes that questioning was part of the probe into Rossini.

But according to a transcript of a hearing in March 2007 when U.S. District Court Judge Dale Fischer asked Artan if the document had been sent anonymously, he replied, “No.”

He added, “I would be happy to tell you in camera.”

Asked about the inconsistency, Artan said he was surprised by his response in the transcript.

He said he recalled having some inkling at the time as to who may have sent it but that he did not know then and does not know now who the source was.

The lawyer declined to say who he suspected may have provided the document.

(Emphasis is mine.)

According to the quoted L.A. Times article, there is an “inconsistency” between what Mr. Artan told a judge and what he told government prosecutors. If the L.A. Times noticed this inconsistency, I’m guessing that the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office noticed it too. If The Times found it interesting enough to report, then I’m guessing federal law enforcement officials are also interested. (In other words, they may be considering whether an investigation is warranted.) It has been my observation that federal law enforcement tends to get interested when a person tells them one thing, and says something different to someone else — as the L.A. Times reported Artan had done.

That’s the point I was making in my December 4, 2008 post. Similarly, in my December 9, 2008 post, I argued that there was no reporting on the issue of whether the government was investigating whether Artan had made false statements to prosecutors.

That doesn’t mean that Mr. Artan lied to prosecutors or broke the law. I am not making that claim, and never have. After all, there are certainly other possible explanations for the reported inconsistency between Artan’s statements to the judge and his statements to the U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C. If Artan wishes to give me his explanation, I’m happy to publish it.

As to the issue of whether Fiorentino provided Artan with the FBI reports, I am again relying on information from published reports. Specifically, a December 9, 2008 article by Scott Glover states that: former FBI agent Rossini conducted law enforcement database searches that were related to the case against Pellicano; Rossini provided an FBI report to a person called only “X” in court documents; sources familiar with the case identified “X” as Linda Fiorentino; and court documents state that “X” provided the document to one of Pellicano’s attorneys:

Rossini admitted to conducting more than 40 unauthorized searches of the bureau’s Automated Case Support System, which contains confidential and sensitive information relating to ongoing and historic cases investigated by the FBI.

Many of the searches related to the criminal case against Pellicano, who was tried and convicted earlier this year in Los Angeles.

Rossini admitted to downloading an FBI report from the database and providing it to person “X,” with whom he had a close personal relationship, according to a formal admission, called a “Statement of the Offense.”

That person, identified by sources familiar with the case as actress Linda Fiorentino, had a relationship with Pellicano and provided the report to one of his attorneys, court documents state.

(Emphasis is mine.)

I have previously linked the court document here. It says that on February 14, 2007, “X” provided the FBI report to an attorney for Pellicano in San Francisco. That is where Artan’s co-counsel Steven Gruel is based.

Numerous publications have reported that Rossini obtained FBI documents for Fiorentino; one headline read Ex-agent admits hacking into FBI to help actress. Published reports and court documents support the theory that Fiorentino passed an FBI document to Pellicano’s defense team. News reports have also said that Artan discussed the document in court with a judge. The only question seems to be how the report got from Fiorentino to Artan, and whether Artan knew the identity of the source (or sources) — questions that only get murkier with Artan’s letter to me.

Rather than demanding retractions from bloggers asking legitimate questions, Mr. Artan ought to attempt to reconcile his various statements regarding that issue.

Finally, Mr. Artan seems to think that I have suggested that Mr. Rossini and/or Ms. Fiorentino acted in concert with Artan, or on his behalf, or that I have accused him of “complicity” in Ms. Fiorentino’s actions. I never made any such statement, and I have no idea where he got the idea that I have.

I have not claimed and do not claim that Artan solicited Rossini or Fiorentino to conduct unauthorized searches. Mr. Artan quotes a passage from my December 15, 2008 post in which I say:

Given that Rossini is yet another cog in Pellicano’s conspiracy to misuse law enforcement, this argument takes a real set of [insert your favorite synonym for testicles here].

If Mr. Artan is asking me to retract the suggestion that he has a “real set of” balls, I will cheerfully do so. Other than that, I see nothing in the passage that is false. In it, I accuse Mr. Artan of nothing more than making a pretty damned nervy legal argument.

Specifically, it is my view that Pellicano’s modus operandi includes getting information from people working inside law enforcement. The convictions of Mr. Pellicano, Mark Arneson, and Craig Stevens support my view that Pellicano had men inside local law enforcement working on his behalf. Now, with the recent plea of Mr. Rossini, the world has learned that someone inside the FBI was also illegally obtaining information that was later used in Pellicano’s defense.

Rossini’s case only reinforced the impression that Pellicano’s criminal conspiracy was even more far-flung than had been previously suspected. In my view, that fact didn’t help Pellicano; if anything, it hurt his legal argument for leniency. For Mr. Artan to refer to Mr. Rossini’s case in Pellicano’s sentencing memorandum, as though anything about Mr. Rossini’s case should reduce Pellicano’s sentence, in my view, took tremendous chutzpah.

That’s my honestly held view, and it’s backed up by the available evidence. But it has nothing to do with Mr. Artan. I’m not saying Artan was part of Pellicano’s conspiracy, and I never said it before. Pellicano was perfectly capable of running that conspiracy without the help of Mr. Artan.

I hope this reassures Mr. Artan that I have not made the accusations he believes I have made. I have accused him of no participation in any criminal conduct. You have Mr. Artan’s side in the form of his letter to me. In addition, I invite Mr. Artan to correct the record further if he feels the need. (Since Mr. Artan is apparently a reader of this blog, I assume he will see my invitation.)

So far, however, his explanations only raise new questions.

12/15/2008

The Initial Version of the L.A. Times’s Story on the Anthony Pellicano Sentencing

Filed under: — Patterico @ 11:55 pm



I reprint the whole thing here only because the newspaper has whisked away the initial version, and readers have a right to access it to determine that my criticisms of this version were accurate. I believe that is fair use under these circumstances. However, if the paper disagrees, I’ll take it down.

Pellicano gets 15 years in wiretapping case
The private investigator’s sentence was longer than the five-year, 10-month term recommended by the Probation Department. Four co-defendants are scheduled to be sentenced in January.
By Victoria Kim
December 16, 2008
Former Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano was sentenced to 15 years in prison this afternoon for running an illegal wiretapping operation that gathered information for a list of well-to-do clients, including celebrities, attorneys and business executives.

U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer’s sentence was longer than the five-year, 10-month punishment recommended by the Probation Department.

Pellicano, whose clients and victims ranked among Hollywood’s biggest stars and most powerful executives, was convicted in two criminal trials earlier this year of 78 counts, including wiretapping, computer fraud and wire fraud.

In court papers filed in October, prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Pellicano, 64, to more than 15 years in prison, saying the sleuth was charged with, and convicted of, only a fraction of the crimes he actually committed.

By tapping phones and bribing public officials, Pellicano violated fundamental privacy rights of hundreds of people and chipped away at the integrity of public institutions, prosecutors wrote. They added that Pellicano continues to show nothing but pride for the criminal enterprise he ran.

Though Pellicano represented himself at the federal trials — lending to moments of farce and confusion — he relied on a court-appointed attorney for his sentencing. Attorney Michael Artan had sought a more lenient sentence from Fischer, arguing that Pellicano’s “hardscrabble” youth, work as a forensic audio expert for the government and financial struggle to provide for his autistic son in the years before his arrest were mitigating factors she should consider.

Similar pleas for leniency for Pellicano and his co-defendants, however, have been dismissed by Fischer.

Last week, the judge ordered Pellicano and two co-defendants to forfeit more than $2 million, an amount requested by prosecutors. And last month, Fischer sentenced Pellicano’s co-conspirator, attorney Terry Christensen, to three years in prison, rejecting a recommendation from the Probation Department that he be placed under house arrest. Fischer rebuked Christensen, who was accused of conspiring with Pellicano to wiretap his opponents in trial, for “marring” the legal profession.

Four other defendants are scheduled to be sentenced next month.

Pellicano’s troubles began in 2002, when a reporter who wrote negative articles about former Hollywood super agent Michael Ovitz went to authorities after she found a dead fish, a rose and a note saying “Stop” inside the smashed windshield of her car.

The investigation led authorities to Pellicano’s office, and it quickly snowballed into a wide-reaching probe that appeared would implicate some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Among Pellicano’s clients were Tom Cruise, Michael Jackson and Chris Rock.

Pellicano’s co-defendants included Sgt. Mark Arneson of the Los Angeles Police Department, computer technician Kevin Kachikian, and phone company employee Ray Turner, who were all convicted in sweeping jury verdicts. They helped Pellicano earn millions by getting information on ex-spouses, business associates and opponents in lawsuits, prosecutors said.

Kim is a Times staff writer.

Pellicano Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison; Read Anita Busch’s Sentencing Statement, Including Her Commentary on the Los Angeles Times

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Crime,Dog Trainer,General,Humor — Patterico @ 6:06 pm



Anthony Pellicano was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison today — just one year less than the government had asked for.

Anita Busch read a statement to Pellicano during the sentencing. Although portions of her statement have been quoted in a couple of stories, some of the quotations have been inaccurate, and none of them has been complete. Below is Busch’s complete statement, which she has confirmed to me is exactly how she said it in court.

I was touched by how harrowing the experience was for her, and how little support she received from people at the L.A. Times, many of whom treated her very real nightmare as a joke. The most moving moment to me was reading Busch describe how agonizing it was just to start her car . . . after receiving credible threats that her car would be blown up: “[A]fter a night of nightmares, I would close my eyes and just scream really loud as I turned the key to the ignition. And when I didn’t blow up, I’d wipe my eyes and go onto work at the L.A. Times and face the snickers from the disbelievers.”

Busch also told Pellicano: “The day you were arrested, that’s when the cover-up began at my newspaper.” At that point, Pellicano started talking with his lawyers, ignoring her. Busch paused and waited until they stopped talking.

Until Pellicano paid attention.

Hearing that story, my reaction was: he wasn’t in control. She was.

That’s a great story.

Ms. Busch’s statement follows:

I want to thank Judge Fischer for her patience and wisdom during this trial and thank you to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Mr. Pellicano, after you and your employers relentlessly attacked all of us and got caught after years of doing this to others, you and your lawyers just kept attacking. You attacked the FBI, the search warrant, a potential witness, the veracity of your victims, launched personal attacks on the lead FBI agent on the case and U.S. Attorney, went after the jury and then the verdict itself.

And you did most all of it through the Los Angeles Times where I unfortunately found out while working there that you had a trusted relationship with the lawyer advising me and one of the reporters that they had covering this criminal case.

In the sentencing memorandum you talk about how your life is ruined. Yes, well, YOU made that choice. None of your victims had a choice. You could have helped put these sociopaths with money behind bars, but to this day, you show contempt for this court and the law.

You have yet to take responsibility for your actions.

It was revealed only two weeks ago that an FBI agent named Mark Rossini pleaded guilty to illegally obtaining documents that were then used by your lawyer.

So every day you prove that you ran a criminal conspiracy and a criminal enterprise.

Your co-conspirator Mr. Kachikian aided and abetted you so that my computer was hacked into and 18 years of my musical compositions – which I considered my life’s work – were destroyed.

When Mr. Turner and other co-conspirators at the phone company helped you tap my phones, you not only violated my privacy and that of my family and friends, but you violated the privacy of a journalist AND her sources, undermining the very fundamentals of my profession. This attack was also on journalism and a newspaper’s ability to gather the news.

By carrying out these crimes, you not only hurt me, you hurt my elderly parents, my brothers and sisters and my friends.

After these threats, I was afraid to come and go from my house. I was afraid to sit in my car for even a moment out in the street for fear that a car would speed up on me again, block me in and this time I WOULD be killed. And that was a Catch-22 because I was ALSO petrified to turn over the engine of my car for fear that it would blow up.

So, I would sit there and cry and pray and beg, “Please God, I want to live.”

Or some days, after a night of nightmares, I would close my eyes and just scream really loud as I turned the key to the ignition. And when I didn’t blow up, I’d wipe my eyes and go onto work at the L.A. Times and face the snickers from the disbelievers.

You and your employers not only used fear and intimidation, but you made sure people – your targets – were smeared in the press. And you and your clients used any means at your disposal to destroy people’s employment. And you guys did it many times over many years. When it was my turn how very convenient it was for you that you already had long established relationships inside my employer.

The day after the first threat, the lawyer at the L.A. Times, Karlene Goller, wanted YOU on board to help because as she said, “He’s done work for us in the past and he’s done well by us.” The editor told her no, but she did it anyway. Without my knowledge or the knowledge of law enforcement, she had reporter Chuck Philips call you about my case. Philips had a longtime relationship with you as a news source and had worked for years alongside Karlene’s husband.

I was new to the paper, but you weren’t. And you USED the relationships you had there against me. You made sure my newspaper didn’t believe me so behind the scenes you could ruin my employment just like you and your clients did to other victims.

The day you were arrested, that’s when the cover-up began at my newspaper. To this day their own reporters, editors and readers don’t know the truth. And while you and your lawyers cried crocodile tears about media leaks, Philips – a reporter you helped for years – wrote story after story against the government’s case. Information FED to him by your defense team. And because the men whose job it was to put an end to your criminal activity were now your targets – Dan Saunders and Stan Ornellas – your pal Philips wrote stories smearing their integrity.

And, of course, those stories were then approved by the same newspaper lawyer who looked to you for help. And this is just one example of how you and your clients used the media as a weapon.

Your convicted co-conspirator, Mr. Kachikian, even worked for the L.A. Times.

You reached inside the phone company, the LAPD, the Beverly Hills Police Department, the FBI … AND this city’s largest newspaper.

So, I was on my own. And I was scared. I thought it was just a matter of time before I was going to be killed. I was scared to have any family or friends around me because I was afraid that they themselves might get hurt. And I struggled. I struggled hard to work as a journalist while battling constant fear … Journalism was something I loved and what I lived for. But it became impossible for me to continue on as a journalist. My sources were afraid to talk to me on the phone. It wasn’t long before everything was gone.

I no longer had my career. I no longer had my peace of mind. My income was dwindling. My life savings was disappearing. My health went downhill. I didn’t even have my music. And I no longer had passion or faith in anything.

It was death by a thousand cuts … and the cuts were deep and hard. I didn’t deserve it.

I remember sitting alone one night, trying to think of something – anything – good that had come out of this. I realized that the only hope I had left was in a dogged, and thank God ethical, FBI agent named Stan Ornellas who I knew was out there every day working to try to put an end to this kind of domestic terrorism. Which is what it was.

I am thankful beyond words to these men and women who worked this case because they kept what happened to me from happening to anyone else.

Now, Mr. Pellicano, you have always spoken about a sense of honor. I understand. You know I know many of your former clients. Most of the ones I knew were never your friends and they were certainly never your family.

These people don’t care about the kind of healthcare you get on the inside, the lousy razors that nick your face, the sandpaper for toilet paper, the mystery meat and candy bars from the vending machine.

They don’t care that you won’t be there to hold your own mother’s hand when she gets sick or when she passes away.

Where is the honor in that?

You won’t be there because of Michael Ovitz.

Your sense of honor is not wrong, Mr. Pellicano. It is misplaced.

To you and your wealthy clients, this was about winning – destroying our lives – at any cost. Well, look at the cost … here in the courtroom today … look into the faces of the ones you love.

You threw away your role as son to your mother and father to your children.

For money.

Sometimes money costs too much.

For what you have done to all of us and to your own flesh and blood, all I can say is that I fear for your soul when I think that God is just.

Thank you, your honor.

For more background on the way Busch was treated by the people at the L.A Times, read my previous posts here and here.

P.S. The initial L.A. Times story on the sentencing doesn’t report any of Busch’s attacks on the newspaper. It will be interesting to see whether the paper ever mentions it.

It is, after all, news.

UPDATE: The story has now been rewritten, in classic L.A. Times style: at the same Web address, wiping out the old version entirely, without any notification to the reader. (I have saved the previous version.) Here’s what the latest version of the story says about Busch’s sentencing statement:

Pellicano’s troubles began in 2002, when a reporter who wrote negative articles about former Hollywood super agent Michael Ovitz went to authorities after she found a dead fish, a rose and a note saying “Stop” inside the smashed windshield of her car.

The reporter, Anita Busch, told the judge Monday that Pellicano’s intimidation and wiretapping were like “death by a thousand cuts.”

Yes, and Busch believes the L.A. Times shared some culpability for at least part of the misery she endured. The L.A. Times doesn’t tell you that.

To learn that, you had to come here.

UPDATE x2: The L.A. Times responds to Busch here.

Pellicano to Be Sentenced Today

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General,Scum — Patterico @ 12:18 am



Anthony Pellicano will be sentenced today.

An AP story reminds us of the impact Pellicano had on his victims:

Victims of former Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano say they have never been able to free themselves from the emotional and financial fallout caused by crimes he committed while wiretapping the rich and famous.

A former reporter says she has nightmares about being hunted and raped. A mother says her daughter is mocked by other kids and their parents. An actress who once appeared in a popular television series says she has found little work since.

The AP says that the Government is asking for nearly 16 years for Pellicano. His lawyers are asking for almost no additional time: 70 months with credit for time served since November 2003 — nearly 61 months ago. Read their memorandum here.

Quite remarkably, the Pellicano defense is invoking Mark Rossini’s light sentence. (He’s the boyfriend of Linda Fiorentino that I told you about here, who has pled guilty to illegally accessing documents that were later used in Pellicano’s defense.) Here’s what Pellicano’s brief says about Rossini:

As to the charges relating to access of police data bases, here too the government’s position seems extreme. For instance, on December 8, 2008, the government announced a guilty plea and plea agreement for Mark T. Rossini, a former Supervisory Special Agent of the FBI who “made over 40 searches of the FBI’s Automated Case Support System (ACS) which contains confidential, law-enforcement sensitive information that relates to historic and on-going criminal investigations initiated by, and supported by, the FBI.” The plea agreement for Mr. Rossini was for five misdemeanors and, as described by the Department of Justice, the likely sentence was from zero to six months.

(Emphasis in original.)

Given that Rossini is yet another cog in Pellicano’s conspiracy to misuse law enforcement, this argument takes a real set of [insert your favorite synonym for testicles here].

Stay tuned tonight; I expect to be able to provide some coverage of the sentencing that you won’t find anywhere else. If it turns out as planned, it will be very interesting — and will have a special emphasis on the coverage of the case by the L.A. Times.

UPDATE 12-23-08: When I speak of “Pellicano’s conspiracy to misuse law enforcement” I am clearly speaking of Pellicano and not his lawyers. More here.

12/12/2008

“Pellicano Girls” Deal Signed (UPDATE: Maybe Not)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:22 pm



It appears that the “Pellicano Girls” reality TV show is a done deal.

UPDATE: Or maybe not.

12/11/2008

Pellicano “Girls” to Get Reality Show

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:23 am



I told my wife and she said “You’re kidding.” Sorry . . . I’m not.

[T]he backbone of “The Pellicano Girls” will be their attempts to run a private investigation company with Anthony in jail. The producers call it a mix between “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and “Charlie’s Angels” — with Anthony Pellicano in the Charlie role, Kat Pellicano a modern-day Bosley and the daughters as the Angels.

“Pellicano Girls'” season one will center on their attempts to start the agency and also collect bills that are still owed the old company.

“They’re all very outgoing women, in a very precarious position,” said one insider familiar with the project. “Anthony may be incarcerated for a long time to come. But Kat’s a very resourceful woman who needs to support her children. She’s tried different things over time as the money has been running out.”

Hilarity will ensue!

I’d prefer to see a reality show about Pellicano in prison. Call it the “Pellicano Boys.” Profits to go to the victims.

Guess that’s why I’m not a network exec.

12/9/2008

Former FBI Agent Enters Guilty Plea for Illegally Accessing Documents Used in Pellicano Defense

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:56 am



Linda Fiorentino’s boyfriend Mark Rossini has pled guilty to illegally accessing government computers to obtain documents that were used in the defense of Anthony Pellicano.

The linked story is by Scott Glover of the L.A. Times, who did such a great job the other day of catching Pellicano’s attorney Michael Artan in an inconsistency regarding whether he knew who had sent him an FBI report used in Pellicano’s defense. A recent court filing (.pdf) makes clear that the document had been sent to Pellicano’s defense team by Fiorentino, who is described only as “X” in the document. It seems rather unlikely that Artan would have forgotten this.

The court filing in Rossini’s case lists some of the searches that Rossini did, in addition to the downloading of that report. Those searches include:

  • “Bert Fields and Proffer”;
  • “Ovitz and Los Angeles”;
  • “James Wiatt and Los Angles” [sic];
  • a search of an investigative file related to a leak in the Pellicano case;
  • “Marty Singer Los Angeles” and “Michael Ovitz”

As I told you last week, Marty Singer is someone against whom Linda Fiorentino had a special grudge. In my post, I linked a July 9, 2007 “Radar Online” article that said Rossini had boasted to friends that Fiorentino was helping him with his cases. The court document details that the government asked Rossini about that article, and he had falsely denied it in its entirety — a mistake that formed part of the basis of the charges against him.

There is no further reporting on whether Pellicano’s lawyer Artan — who received the FBI report from Fiorentino, and then apparently told the government he didn’t know where he had gotten it — is under any kind of investigation for making false statements to the federal government. If anything emerges regarding such an investigation, you read it here first. (The court document in Rossini’s case makes it clear that the document, which Pellicano’s lawyers claimed had been hidden from Pellicano, had in fact been previously shown to the judge, who had ruled it non-exculpatory.)

Interesting stuff. Stay tuned.

UPDATE 12-23-08: This is not an accusation leveled against Mr. Artan; it’s an observation that reportedly inconsistent statements sometimes trigger the interest of federal law enforcement authorities. More here.

12/6/2008

What Anthony Pellicano Yelled Out During Sex

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:09 am



On Wednesday I told you about Linda Fiorentino’s obsession with Anthony Pellicano. Apparently the obsession was mutual:

“When [Fiorentino] she called [Pellicano’s ex-wife] Kat and asked if they could meet, Kat said Anthony was a big fan – that he [Pellicano] fantasized about her and when they had sex, he’d yell out ‘Jade,’ ” [Vanity Fair writer John] Connolly said, referencing Fiorentino’s 1995 movie of the same name.

Well, who doesn’t do that?

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