LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Attorney Terry Christensen was indicted today by a federal grand jury that returned a superseding indictment in the racketeering case against former private investigator Anthony Pellicano. The superseding indictment adds two counts to an indictment unsealed last week – conspiracy and wiretapping charges against Pellicano and Christensen.
Christensen, a 65-year-old Beverly Hills resident, is a name partner with the Century City law firm of Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, LLP.
The two new counts allege that Christensen conspired with Pellicano in the spring of 2002 to illegally wiretap the phone of Lisa Bonder Kerkorian, who was involved in litigation against a Christensen client. Christensen allegedly paid Pellicano at least $100,000 for the wiretap. The indictment alleges that Pellicano listened to Kerkorian’s phone calls and shared with Christensen information he learned from those calls. Christensen, the indictment states, “would use the information gleaned from the illegal wiretap to secure a tactical advantage in litigation by learning Lisa Bonder Kerkorian’s plans, strategies, perceived strengths and weaknesses, settlement position and other confidential information.”
Christensen is scheduled to appear in United States District Court in Los Angeles for an arraignment on Tuesday.
On February 6, the government unsealed an indictment that named Pellicano and two associates on federal racketeering charges for allegedly participating in a criminal enterprise in which Pellicano paid tens of thousands of dollars to police officers to provide him with confidential law enforcement information on numerous individuals in connection with private investigations being conducted by Pellicano. The indictment also alleged that Pellicano and others were involved in the installation of wiretaps on numerous individuals that Pellicano had been hired to investigate, see: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/cac/pr2006/015.html.The indictment unsealed last week named seven defendants; Christensen was added as the eighth defendant in the superseding indictment returned today. Today’s indictment is the same as the one unsealed last week, with the exception of the two new counts that charge Christensen and Pellicano.
The seven other defendants previously indicted have all pleaded not guilty to the charges, with the exception of Daniel Nicherie, whose arraignment was delayed until Friday. The defendants are currently scheduled to go on trial April 4 before United States District Judge Robert M. Takasugi.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The conspiracy count and the wiretapping charges against Pellicano and Christensen each carry a maximum potential penalty of five years in federal prison.
This case is the result of an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Daniel A. Saunders
Assistant United States Attorney Kevin M. Lally