Anthony Pellicano held sway, for years, as one of the most notorious and sought-after private investigators in Los Angeles, but fell into a maelstrom of controversy (and numerous federal indictments) during the early 2000s for extensive charges that involved racketeering and wiretapping. As a detective, Pellicano catered almost exclusively to the filthy rich, with a staggering network of high-profile Hollywood clients who used his wiretapping abilities to dig up "dirt" on business competitors and ex-spouses. It all came crashing down for Pellicano, however, in the fall of 2002, amid a federal investigation into threats against the entertainment journalist Anita Busch for reportedly authoring disparaging articles about Hollywood power player Michael Ovitz. Though seemingly unrelated to Pellicano on the surface, that situation in fact bore direct connections to him -- connections that unearthed his entire wiretapping enterprise in broad daylight and gamely brought it to the attention of federal agents. The FBI investigation against Pellicano spanned six years and also unearthed the detective's extensive involvement in racketeering; when the jury finally handed the verdict down, in spring 2008, it validated 76 of the 77 charges against Pellicano, and the press estimated a sentence for him of up to 20 years in prison, solely from the racketeering charges.
Over the years, Pellicano also participated in film production to some degree. He played a supporting role in Peter Bogdanovich's critically derided comedy Illegally Yours (1988) and scripted a 1985 episode of the Tom Selleck detective series Magnum, P.I.