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Casting a wider net

Wiretap prosecutor says more charges loom

More people are expected to be charged in the Anthony Pellicano wiretapping case, federal prosecutors said in court Monday.

During a preliminary hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Saunders told the court, “We do anticipate bringing additional charges” but did not provide any hints as to when or whom the government planned to indict.

Separately, in a civil case spawned by the Pellicano charges, attorneys for Paramount chairman Brad Grey are requesting that the L.A. Superior Court continue to postpone a lawsuit brought by producer Bo Zenga.

In addition to Pellicano, seven others have been indicted on federal charges of conspiring to illegally gather information on people involved in legal disputes. Several others, including helmer John McTiernan, have already entered guilty pleas.

Though Saunders gave himself no timeframe for filing additional charges, he said he expected to do it soon enough so that the case will go to trial in October as scheduled.

The sprawling wiretapping investigation has spawned numerous civil actions by alleged victims, including the one filed by Zenga against Pellicano and his co-defendant, former L.A. cop Mark Arneson.

In the indictment, prosecutors said Zenga was wiretapped while he was suing Grey over producing fees for “Scary Movie,” a case that Grey ultimately won.

Grey has denied knowledge of any criminal activity conducted by Pellicano or others.

Zenga recently added Grey, his attorney Bert Fields and his firm and AT&T to his lawsuit, which seeks damages for the alleged wiretapping as well as the reopening of the original “Scary Movie” suit.

The suit is currently on hold pending the criminal case. But the stay is due to expire June 1, and Zenga’s attorneys have expressed a desire to go ahead and begin discovery with newly added parties, including deposing Grey about what he knew of Pellicano’s activities.

Grey’s side filed a motion last week seeking to postpone that deposition, arguing the suit should wait until after the Pellicano criminal trial wraps up. Fields and his firm also have urged the court to keep the case on hold.

Zenga’s side responded in its own motion that because Grey, unlike Pellicano or Arneson, is not facing criminal charges, he should be deposed sooner rather than later.

L.A. Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis is expected to rule on the question at a June 1 hearing.

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