LeMasters read police files
A second staffer, this time former assistant and love interest, Lily LeMasters, took the witness stand Tuesday to testify against Anthony Pellicano in the government’s illegal wiretapping and racketeering case against the private detective and four co-defendants.
Just as co-worker Tarita Virtue had done last week, LeMasters identified former LAPD officer Mark Arneson, Beverly Hills cop Craig Stephens and former SBC and Pac Bell field technician Rayford Earl Turner as individuals who provided DMV and criminal records, as well as telephone numbers and wiretaps for Pellicano, in exchange for payment.
The prosecution, led by U.S. assistant attorney Kevin Lally, focused on proving to the jury that LeMasters had access to illegally obtained documents and interacted with the co-defendants Pellicano used to get them, during her five-year stint working for the Pellicano Investigative Agency.
That was especially true when it came to her dealings with Arneson, who she testified also provided surveillance work for Pellicano and served as a bodyguard to celebrities for the Grammys and Oscars. The two also went on a date once, with Arneson inviting LeMasters to his house in Long Beach for dinner, she said.
LeMasters was uncomfortable in the courtroom and reticent about questions that would clearly hurt Pellicano, but protected under immunity, she fully cooperated in describing how he conducted his business.
As Pellicano’s assistant, LeMasters was in charge of the private eye’s daily schedule, and opened case files, input DMV and criminal records, as well as information from credit reports on individuals being investigated for clients — information LeMasters said came directly from Arneson, Stephens and Turner.
The working relationship with Pellicano became more intimate during her five years at the company, when the two wound up dating for more than a year, LeMasters said.
She left the company in 2001, and said she had “no animosity” against Pellicano.
LeMasters said she personally handled faxes of DMV records and criminal histories sent by Arneson and Stephens, and saw rolls of tape of phone numbers provided by Turner. Evidence introduced by Lally included faxes of database searches that included Arneson’s name.
In putting together case files, LeMasters wound up reformatting DMV and criminal records to omit the names of “those who worked for” Pellicano, she testified. She also kept Pellicano’s phone logs and the office’s visitors’ logs, again leaving out the names of Arneson, Stephens and Turner at her bosses’ request.
Other documents presented by Lally included a report compiled about screenwriter Vincent “Bo” Zenga, who was involved in a lawsuit against manager Brad Grey. Grey’s lawyer Bertram Fields had suggested Grey hire Pellicano to investigate the scribe.
During questioning, Lally asked LeMasters if she recalled seeing the words “For law enforcement use only” at the top of the documents she processed. LeMasters said she had, but never thought about it.
The prosecution didn’t go into specific details on the contents of phone calls Pellicano may have illegally recorded while working for clients, although Lally made the point that employees at the agency were wiretapped. LeMasters stressed that was done to record incoming calls.
LeMasters testified that Arneson provided DMV and criminal history reports to Pellicano several times a week — “every week for every season for every year” of the five years she worked for Pellicano — with the police officer even showing up in uniform at the office to do so, at times.
Just as the phone logs kept his involvement a secret, Arneson, too, was kept out of sight of clients, LeMasters said.
“It was best if he wasn’t seen,” LeMasters said she was told by Pellicano.
She also would page Arneson and Turner to request records on individuals, per Pellicano’s request. At times, she also called Arneson directly at home, providing him with names or license plate numbers on individuals to look up using police databases.
LeMasters said she was aware Arneson was providing reports to Pellicano as early as 1996, and also saw the $2,500 check and cash payments that were issued to him in exchange for the reports. If the company’s accountant wasn’t working on certain days, LeMasters said she would even fill out the checks herself.
Trial resumes today, with LeMasters expected to appear again on the witness stand, as also Linda Doucett, Garry Shandling’s former girlfriend.