HITS Daily Double
Pfeifer allegedly hired Pellicano to eavesdrop on a former girlfriend. He was also accused of witness intimidation.


Ex-Hollywood Records President Bob Pfeifer One of Six Indicted Along With Notorious Detective, as Celebrity Lawyer Bert Fields Is Also Under Investigation
Former private investigator Anthony Pellicano and six others were accused yesterday of “conspiring to wiretap, blackmail and intimidate” dozens of celebrities and business execs, including Sylvester Stallone and Garry Shandling.

The 110-count federal indictment outlines payoffs to police, high-tech eavesdropping and what the L.A. Times calls “skullduggery.” Prosecutors allege that Pellicano accessed “confidential communications and law enforcement databases for scandalous details that would scare off lawsuits or provide his clients with the upper hand in courtroom battles.”

Pellicano, ex-LAPD Sgt. Mark Arneson and Rayford Earl Turner, a former employee of SBC and Pacific Bell, were charged with repeatedly violating the federal RICO Act by establishing a criminal "enterprise" that benefited Pellicano's once-thriving private-eye business.

In a court appearance yesterday, Pellicano pleaded not guilty and was held without bail after a federal prosecutor alleged he was issuing threats from prison against potential witnesses. His lawyer denied the allegation.

Kevin Kachikian was charged with developing the wiretapping software— dubbed Telesleuth—used by Pellicano. Three others, including ex-Hollywood Records President Robert Pfeifer and brothers Daniel and Abner Nicherie, were charged with involvement in specific instances of aiding and abetting wiretapping.

Pfeifer allegedly hired Pellicano to eavesdrop on a former girlfriend. He was also accused of witness intimidation. His attorney denied the charges.

Nearly a dozen people—among them actors Stallone and Keith Carradine and former L.A. Times reporter Anita Busch—were allegedly the victims of wiretaps conducted by Pellicano and the others between August 2000 and November 2002, the indictment alleges.

It was a threat in 2002 against Busch that led the FBI to raid Pellicano's Sunset Strip offices and launch the wiretapping investigation.

Authorities cited nearly 100 other instances in which Pellicano and Arneson allegedly accessed confidential law enforcement records, including the FBI's National Crime Information Center database, to gain information about targets including Shandling, former Saturday Night Live star Kevin Nealon and dozens of others.

The list of alleged victims provides a link between Pellicano and the Century City law firm of Greenburg, Glusker, Fields, Claman, Machtinger and Kinsella. Almost two years ago, the firm's lawyer, Bert Fields, acknowledged that he had been notified by authorities that he was a "subject" of their investigation.

Fields, his attorney and an attorney for the firm have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in connection with the Pellicano case.

Several of the alleged victims had links to former top Hollywood agent Michael Ovitz, although the indictment does not mention him by name.

Former N.Y. Times Hollywood correspondent Bernard Weinraub and Busch had been writing about the problems of Ovitz's Artists Management Group around the time that checks were done on them.

Transferred to federal custody last Friday, Pellicano was one day shy of completing a 30-month sentence for illegal possession of explosives when taken into custody on the new charges issued by the grand jury.

Pellicano's lawyer, Steven Gruel, argued that his client was not a flight risk and that Pellicano had complied with all government requests before surrendering to authorities in the explosives case. The judge, noting that Pellicano now faces far more serious charges, ordered him held without bail. Authorities said Pellicano could face hundreds of years in prison if convicted on all counts.

The 76-year-old lawyer Fields employed Pellicano as an investigator for years. The indictment lists several alleged victims who battled with Fields’ clients, including Stallone and Shandling.

Fields has denied knowledge of any illegal activity. Nonetheless, he remains a subject of the ongoing investigation.

Fields issued a terse comment Monday. "It's something I want to stay out of… I try to keep practicing law and not pay a lot of attention to it."

Stallone, for example, sued a Fields client, former business manager Kenneth Starr, over an ill-fated investment in the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain.

Pellicano and his associates allegedly performed an illegal background check on Shandling when the comic was suing former manager Brad Grey, now head of Paramount Pictures and a Fields client, for alleged conflict of interest.

Fields has represented nearly every studio, along with such celebrities as Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Jackson and John Travolta.

Fields is also a historian, publishing a recent book on William Shakespeare and King Richard III. He also publishes pulp novels under the pen name D. Kincaid.