The Hollywood private investigator, Anthony Pellicano was found guilty Thursday in federal court in Los Angeles of using wiretaps and other illegal tactics to gather information for rich and famous clients involved in divorces or legal disputes, the New York Times reports.
Mr. Pellicano, 64, was convicted of 76 of the 77 charges he faced.
After about two weeks of deliberations, the jury found Mr. Pellicano guilty of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud, identity theft, conspiracy to intercept or use wire communications and manufacture or possession of wiretapping device.
Mr. Pellicano and four co-defendants had been accused of wire-tapping telephones and bribing police and telephone workers to run checks on behalf of stars, industry moguls and others. The case surfaced after Anita Busch, then a reporter at The Los Angeles Times, found a menacing note and a hole in the windshield of her car in June 2002. She later discovered her phones had been wiretapped.
Mr. Pellicano looked staight at the judge and did not react when verdicts were read, The Associated Press reported.
In eight weeks of testimony, prosecutors assailed Mr. Pellicano as the mastermind of an efficient network of illicit information-gatherers who helped his clients gain the edge in civil disputes and beat the rap in criminal cases, charging them a minimum of $25,000.
Mr. Pellicano, who acted as his own lawyer, mounted little defense except to say he acted alone. He characterized himself as a "lone ranger"' who deliberately kept his accomplices in the dark.
"Pellicano alone is responsible," he said, speaking of himself in the third person at the judge's direction. "That's the simple truth."
Read the full New York Times story .(registration required)
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.