Pfeifer Cops Wiretapping Plea

Former Hollywood Records chief exec Robert Pfeifer pleaded guilty April 7th to a single charge of intercepting wiretap communications by hiring celebrity gumshoe Anthony Pellicano to tap his former girlfriend’s phones to find out how she might testify in a business lawsuit.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years. Bail in the case has been set at $1 million for Pfeifer, who has been cooling his heels in a Los Angeles County jail since his arrest in February. His sentencing was scheduled for June 26th.

Pfeifer is the fifth to cop a guilty plea in connection to the Pellicano wiretapping probe, and the second Hollywood figure to face charges. A week earlier, director John McTiernan, whose films include “Die Hard” and “The Hunt for Red October,” became the first when authorities claimed he lied when he said he had no knowledge of wiretapping by Pellicano.

Prosecutors allege Pellicano wiretapped Hollywood stars he was hired to investigate and used the information to make threats, blackmail and, in some cases, to help clients gain advantages in legal disputes. Pellicano has pleaded innocent to the charges.

Pfeifer paid Pellicano at least $125,000 in 2000 to eavesdrop on Erin Finn, whose deposition threatened to undermine a lawsuit by Pfeifer against a former employer, court documents said.

The former exec “was fully aware of the wiretap and discussed with Pellicano the interception of Finn’s telephone calls,” court documents said.

Pfeifer told U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer that Pellicano’s “investigation included wiretapping, and we gained knowledge from that.”

Along with the wiretapping charge, Pfeifer faces one count of witness tampering. His attorney, Evan Jenness, said outside court that if Pfeifer meets government obligations, the remaining count would be dismissed.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Lally wouldn’t say if Pfeifer was cooperating with prosecutors.

Fourteen people have been charged so far in the wiretapping case against Pellicano, including two former police officers and a defense attorney who has represented billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian.