Feds: Showbiz Private Eye Had Mob Ties

Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano conspired with mobsters to place a "hit" on an associate who authorities say was hired to threaten a Los Angeles Times reporter, federal prosecutors said in court documents.

Investigators working a sweeping wiretapping probe obtained "corroborated information" that Pellicano recently sought a hit on Alexander Proctor, who is charged alongside Pellicano with threatening reporter Anita Busch in 2002, according to the documents.

Prosecutors allege Pellicano wanted to prevent Proctor from testifying against him in the Busch case. The reporter was working on a story about actor Steven Seagal and possible links to the Mafia in 2002 when she found a dead fish on her car and a note reading: stop.

The timing and nature of the alleged hit on Proctor were not revealed in the court documents filed Monday, and Pellicano has not been charged in connection with it.

In the court documents, however, prosecutors noted the recent allegations were "the subject of an ongoing investigation that might result in additional criminal charges."

Proctor was recently moved from a federal prison in Illinois to one in Georgia, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The documents were filed in opposition to a demand by Pellicano's lawyers that prosecutors hand over additional evidence in the wiretapping case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Saunders complained to a judge last week about leaks and said he would delay filing grand jury transcripts and other crucial documents to prevent the details from getting out.

Pellicano has pleaded not guilty to charges he wiretapped dozens of people, including actor Sylvester Stallone and comedian Garry Shandling, to gain legal advantage for his clients.

"This is already, even in the early stages, Hollywood's largest and most significant scandal in years, perhaps ever, because every disagreement in Hollywood, every contract disagreement, every stalker, every baby born out of wedlock, involves attorneys," Bryan Burrough, co-author of an article in the June issue of Vanity Fair, said on

last month. "And for 20 years, when things got nasty, Hollywood attorneys turned to Anthony Pellicano to investigate — and, we now know, illegally wiretap his opponents."

Pellicano's attorney, Steven Gruel, said he learned about the new allegations Friday but has not received any specific evidence from the government.

"This seems to be a common thread for the prosecution, that Mr. Pellicano is making threats against witnesses," Gruel told the Los Angeles Times. "And yet I have not seen any evidence of it whatsoever.

Fourteen people have been charged so far in the wiretapping probe, which began when an FBI informant turned over a tape on which Proctor boasted of working for Pellicano. Federal authorities used the recording to obtain a warrant to search Pellicano's office in November 2002.

That search led investigators to "Die Hard" director John McTiernan, who pleaded guilty in April to making false statements to an FBI agent, and former Hollywood Records president Robert Pfeifer, who admitted hiring Pellicano to wiretap the phone of his former girlfriend as part of a legal dispute.

"But there are hundreds of stars, directors, producers who are one step removed from this at the moment, because their attorneys are under investigation," Burrough told Early Show co-anchor René Syler. "A lot of people are pretty scared."