Detective to stars, attorney guilty of wiretapping

Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:34pm EDT
 
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A private detective who once worked for Hollywood stars and a prominent attorney were convicted on Friday of federal wiretapping and conspiracy charges in a case stemming from billionaire Kirk Kerkorian's bitter child support dispute.

A jury found sleuth Anthony Pellicano, 64, guilty of tapping the phones of Lisa Bonder, Kerkorian's ex-wife, in 2002, said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney.

Kerkorian's former attorney, Terry Christensen, was found guilty of aiding and abetting the wiretap. The jury found both men guilty of conspiracy to commit wiretapping.

The conviction marked a second blow to Pellicano following his conviction earlier this year in another case of using wiretaps and bribery to fix the problems of wealthy clients.

Pellicano and Christensen face up to 10 years in prison, Mrozek said. They are to be sentenced on November 17.

"We don't agree with the jury," said Patricia Glaser, Christensen's attorney and law partner.

"We're disappointed. We will be appealing on a myriad of issues and we are going to fight this all the way," she said.

Kerkorian, 91, testified in the case on August 20. He told jurors he did not know Bonder's calls were being tapped.   Continued...

 
<p>Private detective Anthony Pellicano is shown in this 1993 file photo. A jury found sleuth Anthony Pellicano, 64, guilty of tapping the phones of Lisa Bonder, Kerkorian's ex-wife, in 2002, said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney. Picture taken in 1993. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich/File</p>