December 16, 2008

Hollywood Wiretapper Gets 15 Years in Prison

His clients' curiosity is what killed Anthony Pellicano's career.

The former investigator-to-the-stars was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after two trials led to convictions on dozens of felony conspiracy, racketeering and wiretapping charges in connection with cases that over the years ensnared Hollywood power players such as Chris Rock, Sylvester Stallone, Gary Shandling and Paramount honcho Brad Grey.

Pellicano engaged in "reprehensible conduct for many years—eagerly, maliciously and with great pride," said U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer in imposing the stiff sentence, which will end up being more along the lines of 13 years due to certain federal reductions, according to prosecutors.

Defense attorney Michael Artan promised to appeal his client's "excessive" punishment.

Pellicano has been in custody for nearly five years. While wrapping up a stretch behind bars for illegally possessing explosives, he was indicted in 2004 on more than 100 counts for going to the ends of the illegal earth for his deep-pocketed clients.

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