Prosecutors Build Case Against Pellicano

The manager of a billion-dollar hedge fund, the billionaire head of a buyout firm, and the ex-wives of a television actor and a major real estate developer all will be crucial witnesses at the racketeering trial beginning next week for Anthony Pellicano, the infamous Hollywood private eye.The four will testify that they paid Mr. Pellicano to wiretap their adversaries illegally and listened as he played back the results, the prosecutors say. Former employees and co-conspirators will testify that he built a network of corrupt police officers and telephone-company workers to live up to his image as someone “who reliably obtained information that other investigators could not,” according to a 129-page trial brief filed late Thursday.

Prosecutors have zeroed in on a dozen matters to make their case, apparently setting aside cases involving such onetime Pellicano clients as Chris Rock and Courtney Love and the actor Sylvester Stallone, who Mr. Pellicano investigated. Instead, the government says it will call, among others:

*Adam D. Sender, a noted art collector and the manager of Exis Capital, , a hedge fund at one time valued at $1.5 billion, to testify that Mr. Pellicano wiretapped a movie producer he accused of bilking him out of more than $1 million. Mr. Sender will admit listening to five to 10 wiretapped calls.

*Alec E. Gores, the wealthy head of the Gores Group LLC, a buyout company, to testify that Mr. Pellicano wiretapped his wife and his younger brother to confirm his suspicions about the nature of their relationship, and that he listened to wiretapped calls three times. The wife and brother will also testify.

*Sandra Will Carradine, the ex-wife of the actor Keith Carradine, to testify that she listened to Mr. Pellicano’s illegal recordings of Mr. Carradine’s phone calls during a property dispute in her divorce case.

*Susan Reddan Maguire, the ex-wife of Robert Maguire, a developer of skyscrapers in Los Angeles and many other cities, to testify that Mr. Pellicano wiretapped her ex-husband during their divorce. She will testify that Mr. Pellicano played intercepted calls for her including conversations Mr. Maguire had with his psychiatrist and girlfriend.

Mr. Pellicano, who is representing himself and remains jailed without bail, faces trial alongside a former Los Angeles police detective, Mark Arneson; a retired phone-company worker, Rayford Earl Turner; a computer programmer, Kevin Kachikian; and a businessman, Abner Nicherie.

Mr. Arneson, prosecutors say, illegally searched law-enforcement databases some 2,500 times. Mr. Turner installed wiretaps. Mr. Kachikian designed and built some 50 devices for recording and speedily analyzing wiretapped calls – which he and Mr. Pellicano even tried to trademark under the name “Telesleuth.” Prosecutors say Mr. Nicherie was a minor player who hired Mr. Pellicano to wiretap an adversary and then personally translated the eavesdropped calls, many of them in Hebrew.

Talks between the government and Mr. Arneson, Mr. Turner and Mr. Nicherie did not produce any last-minute pleas this week. Mr. Kachikian, who is accused of destroying the Telesleuth software to stymie investigators, maintains he believed Mr. Pellicano intended to sell it only to law-enforcement agencies.

Terry Christensen, the head of a Hollywood law firm, will be tried separately on charges that he paid Mr. Pellicano $100,000 to wiretap the ex-wife of his biggest client, the billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, during a child-support dispute. Prosecutors still hope to use recordings of Mr. Pellicano and Mr. Christensen discussing the wiretaps as evidence of the wider conspiracy.

Source: The New York Times

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