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Perp Walk for Pellicano Pals

Jan. 30 2008, Published 8:04 a.m. ET

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For months Hollywood insiders have been anxiously awaiting the fallout from the federal probe of Anthony Pellicano as a grand jury pored over millions of pages of transcripts of wiretapped conversations the P.I. illegally recorded on behalf of his big-name clients. The transcripts were seized in November 2002, after the FBI raided Pellicano’s West Hollywood office in connection with an attack on reporter Anita Busch. Now, the wait may be over.

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According to a very high-level source close to the case, the first round of "several indictments" will be issued this week or next and will focus on the Tinseltown attorneys who allegedly hired Pellicano to secretly bug and wiretap their clients’ enemies and courtroom adversaries. "It's all happening this week or the week after at the very latest," claims the source. Another source—a witness who testified in front of the grand jury—says that the FBI contacted him over the weekend about the case and told him to “expect indictments to come down very soon.”

Moreover, the Pellicano indictees have been informed that, unlike most defendants charged with white collar crimes, they will not have the opportunity to discreetly turn themselves in, we're told. Instead, to guarantee maximum media impact, they will be arrested at their homes, offices, or favored power lunch spots and led away in cuffs in full view of their peers and the press. “They’re planning to do a series of takedown arrests to keep this firmly in public view,” says our source. “They want to show they mean serious business.”

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In addition to performing work for lawyers, like legendary entertainment attorney Bert Fields, Pellicano serviced such industry heavyweights as Tom Cruise, Michael Ovitz, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The grand jury investigation is expected to have explosive ramifications in Hollywood, where a handful of lawyers oversee most of the deals, divorces, and legal tussles affecting the industry’s top players. If, as the DA is planning to allege, Pellicano’s wiretaps are found to have improperly influenced the outcomes of these cases, “hundreds of them can be reopened under fraud statutes,” the source says. “It could be a legal nightmare.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Saunders, of the Los Angeles U.S. Attorney’s Office, declined to comment on the case, citing the secrecy of grand jury proceedings.

Related: CBS Whacks Pellicano Exposé



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