Hollywood Private Eye Indicted on Racketeering Charges
2/6/2006 8:36 PM PT
By CHRISTINA ALMEIDA, ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
Celebrity private eye Anthony Pellicano pleaded not guilty Monday to racketeering charges contained in an indictment alleging he paid police officers and others to access confidential records and provide him with information.
The indictment was unsealed but not immediately released.
Attorney Steven Gruel, who represents Pellicano, said the indictment detailed 105 counts against his client. In addition to racketeering, he was charged with unauthorized computer access, interception of wire communications and possession of a wiretapping device.
Gruel briefly made a copy of the indictment available to The Associated Press. It said the private detective "paid bribes to corrupt public officials."
Officers with the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police departments accessed confidential records and provided information to Pellicano, the indictment said.
Pellicano, 61, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen J. Hillman duringthe brief hearing. Trial was set for April 4.
Pellicano has worked for a galaxy of Hollywood stars, such as Michael Jackson,Elizabeth Taylor and Sylvester Stallone. High-profile lawyers and agents alsohave enlisted Pellicano's services.
But prosecutors haven't disclosed if any famous names might be tied to theinvestigation or testified before a grand jury.