The Pathetic Fate of 'the Sin Eater,' Celebrated Outlaw Detective

Private investigator Anthony Pellicano broke many laws covering up and smearing for clients like Tom Cruise, Chris Rock and Mike Ovitz. After a trial that became a media sensation, he's quietly heading to jail.

Pellicano's case, from federal investigation through much of the trial, was an obsession of elite publications like Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and the Times, which at one point had a reporter filing daily dispatches from the courtroom. But eventually everyone got tired of the relentless coverage, paying attention only when, say, recordings surfaced of Chris Rock talking with Pellicano about how the PI would "black this girl [accusing Rock of rape] up totally."

Now the PI has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, ending the whole sensational scandal with a whimper:

Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for running a wiretapping scheme that spied on the rich and famous.
U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer sentenced the 64-year-old Pellicano on Monday and ordered him and two other defendants to forfeit a total of $2 million.
Pellicano was convicted of 78 total counts, including wiretapping, racketeering and wire fraud, in two trials earlier this year.

In brief, Pellicano was convicted for illegal wiretaps, including a series of special lines direct from the phone company's central switch to his office, which allowed him to "monitor calls across Beverly Hills without even stepping outside." Also: racketeeing, following a death threat against Los Angeles Times reporter Anita Busch who was writing about two Pellicano clients at the time.

Time has a nice, brief summary of the whole scandal here. Which, if there is a God, should be the last time you have to read about the endless Pellicano affair, ever. (Ha ha, yeah right.)