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    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

    (213) 894-6947
    thom.mrozek@usdoj.gov



    Return to the 2008 Press Release Index
    Release No. 08-149

    November 24, 2008

    ATTORNEY TERRY CHRISTENSEN SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON ON WIRETAPPING CHARGES

    Prominent Entertainment Attorney Used Private Eye Anthony Pellicano to Illegally Wiretap Ex-Wife of Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian in Child-Support Case

    Entertainment attorney Terry Christensen was sentenced today to 36 months in federal prison for his conviction on federal wiretapping charges.

    Christensen and former private investigator Anthony Pellicano were found guilty in August of federal conspiracy and wiretapping charges in connection with their illegal wiretapping of the ex-wife of Christensen’s longtime client, billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, during a 2002 child support dispute.

    During this morning’s sentencing hearing, United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer stated: “In a real sense, the legal community and the justice system are the victims of this crime.” In explaining the sentence and rejecting Christensen’s request for no prison time, Judge Fischer noted that Christensen’s actions ‘”marred the legal profession in the eyes of the public” and demonstrated a “disrespect for the justice system on a grand scale.”

    After a six-week trial in United States District Court in Los Angeles, a federal jury in Los Angeles found both Christensen and Pellicano guilty on each of the two counts in which they were charged. Anthony Pellicano, 64, operated the Pellicano Investigative Agency on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Christensen, 67, of Beverly Hills, was a name partner at the Century City law firm that was formerly called Christensen, Glaser, Fink, Jacobs, Weil & Shapiro, LLP.

    In May, another jury found Pellicano guilty of 76 counts, including violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act, committing “honest services” wire fraud by paying a police officer for confidential information, identity theft and wiretapping. Pellicano, who faces decades in prison, is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Fischer on December 15.

    In their trial, Pellicano and Christensen were found guilty of conspiring in the spring of 2002 to illegally wiretap the phone of Lisa Bonder Kerkorian, who was involved in child support litigation with Christensen’s client, Kirk Kerkorian. The government presented evidence that Christensen paid Pellicano at least $100,000 for the wiretap, that Pellicano listened to Bonder Kerkorian's phone calls and shared with Christensen information he learned from those calls, and that Christensen used that information – including the contents of privileged conversations with Bonder Kerkorian’s attorneys – to secure a tactical advantage in the litigation.

    This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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    Release No. 08-151
    Return to the 2008 Press Release Index