Thursday, November 5, 2009
Jury Convicts Ex-Phone Company Employee in Pellicano Investigation
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A federal jury has convicted a former telephone company employee of three counts of lying to the FBI and committing perjury before a grand jury and district court in connection with the wiretapping investigation of former private investigator Anthony Pellicano.
Joann Wiggan, 56, of Burbank, was found guilty Monday afternoon of committing perjury before a federal grand jury, lying to special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and committing perjury during a previous criminal trial. The jury deliberated less than one hour before reaching its guilty verdicts.
During a week-long trial in United States District Court in Los Angeles, the jury heard that Wiggan repeatedly denied under oath having any contact with, or having retrieved any voicemail messages from, former SBC employee and Pellicano associate Ray Turner. Telephone records introduced into evidence, however, showed more than 125 calls from Turner to Wiggan’s work voicemail account, 18 calls from Pellicano’s office to that voicemail account, and more than 1,000 calls from Wiggan to that account during the time of the wiretapping conspiracy.
In closing arguments, prosecutors said the evidence showed that Wiggan, a facilities technician with access to the mainframes at all SBC offices in Los Angeles, had been the person physically connecting the illegal wiretaps at Turner’s and Pellicano’s direction.
Wiggan previously stood trial in 2006 on five counts of committing perjury before the grand jury. The jury in that 2006 case acquitted Wiggan of four counts, and a mistrial was declared on the fifth count. In Monday’s verdicts, the jury convicted Wiggan of the unresolved count from the first trial, as well as new charges of lying to the FBI in 2004 and committing perjury during her 2006 trial.
Wiggan is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer on Feb. 22. At sentencing, Wiggan faces a statutory maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison.
Pellicano and Turner were convicted last year of conspiracy, wiretapping and other charges, and they are currently serving prison sentences of 15 years and 10 years, respectively.
With Wiggan’s conviction, 14 defendants have been convicted in relation to the Pellicano wiretap investigation.
The investigation into Pellicano and his associates was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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