Former Private Eye to the Stars Anthony Pellicano entered Room 840 of the Roybal Federal Building at 1:25 p.m. grinning, and managed to bring his manacled hands up to his lips to blow a kiss to his wife, Kat. Two hours later he wasn't smiling -- today was sentencing day for Pellicano, 64, who'd been convicted earlier this year of 78 counts of conspiracy, wiretapping and racketeering. He would leave the court with a 15-year sentence.
Although prosecutors had sought 188 months prison time for Pellicano, a Federal probation officer had recommended that he receive only 70 months, which, if the time Pellicano has spent sitting behind bars since his first conviction for possession of explosives were deducted, meant he'd be on the street in under two years. His attorneys, Michael Artan and Steven Gruel, told Judge Dale Fischer they thought, all in all, that this was a fair and equitable sentence.
Besides prosecutors Kevin Lally and Daniel Saunders, two of Pellicano's victims were on hand to differ. Both former L.A. Times
entertainment industry reporter Anita Busch and Pamela Miller, who was
once a nanny to Canadian media heiress Taylor Thomson, asked the court
to throw the book at Pellicano. At 3:30 p.m. Fischer began addressing
the letters she'd received imploring her to show Pellicano leniency, as
well as dealing with defense counsels' entreaties that the judge deny
the government's requests for upward sentencing enhancements.
soon as Fischer began talking everyone in Room 840 knew she was
reaching for that book -- and that the sentence would be all about
Pellicano left Room 840 for his Federal
jail cell with 180 months to serve, plus $7800 in assessment fees and
confirmation that Pellicano was liable to pay, with two of his
co-defendents from his first trial, to pay more than $2 million
restitution. Fischer would only count time served from 2006 -- meaning
that with time off for good behavior, Pellicano is looking at about a
decade behind bars.
To sweeten the deal, Fischer told the
packed room that "20 years was well within the reasonable range" of
sentencing. She threw in three years probation and freed Pellicano from
having to pay additional fines because, she said, he probably doesn't
have the money to pay anyway.
"This is a man," prosecutor
Saunders had said earlier in the earing, "who amassed a career by
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showing utter contempt for everything this court stands for." As for
the 13 other people who have been convicted of crimes because of
Pellicano's actions, they were "just more carnage by the roadside of
his criminal career."