Judge Upholds Hollywood PI’s 15-Year Prison Sentence

LOS ANGELES (CN) – A federal judge on Monday upheld notorious Hollywood private investigator Anthony Pellicano’s 15-year prison sentence for leading a criminal enterprise and wiretapping victims.

Pellicano represented himself in a brief morning hearing in U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer’s courtroom. He appeared via video link-up from low-security prison on Terminal Island in San Pedro, seated in a chair, wearing dark glasses and dressed in a beige prison uniform.

Fischer re-sentenced Pellicano to 180 months in prison and ordered three years of supervised release. When the federal judge brought up ex-private eye’s prospects of an appeal, Pellicano did not mince words.

“I have no intention of appealing anything,” he said.

Pellicano was convicted in two criminal trials for leading a criminal enterprise after he used threats, harassment, and illegal wiretaps while working in the Hollywood firmament. Former Disney CEO Michael Ovitz, businessman Kirk Kerkorian, actor Tom Cruise and comedian Chris Rock were among his clients.

The case returned to Fischer’s courtroom after the Ninth Circuit upheld his convictions for leading a criminal enterprise but overturned convictions on aiding and abetting computer fraud and unauthorized computer access because of an improper jury instruction.

Two of Pellicano’s victims, journalist Anita Busch and Judy Green spoke at the hearing. Green is the ex-wife of investor Leonard Green. She testified in the private investigator’s wiretapping and racketeering trial that in the middle of her divorce proceedings, Pellicano had followed and harassed her.

Busch filed a civil lawsuit against Pellicano in 2004. She said when she was working for the Los Angeles Times as an entertainment reporter covering Ovitz, she found a dead fish with a rose in its mouth on the broken windshield of her car with a card that read “Stop.”

The journalist took her case to the FBI, which uncovered evidence that Pellicano was behind the threats.

Now a film editor with Deadline, Busch said after the hearing that Pellicano had left her traumatized after he hacked her phone and harassed her.

“I think he should serve his full sentence and then some. For us, this is a life sentence because you never stop looking over your shoulder. You are in constant fear all the time. It just never ends,” Busch said.

Her case is expected to go to trial this November.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Lally appeared for the government and urged Fischer to uphold Pellicano’s sentence.

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