"Roadside Carnage:" Anthony Pellicano Sentenced
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.
As soon as Fischer began talking everyone in Room 840 knew she was reaching for that book -- and that the sentence would be all about upward enhancements.
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 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."