Prosecution rests after characterizing Pellicano as 'a thug'

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Anthony Pellicano was a "well-paid thug" and ringmaster of a criminal enterprise who was hired to threaten, intimidate and harass foes of his clients, a federal prosecutor told jurors Tuesday in closing arguments in the Hollywood wiretapping trial.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Saunders carefully laid out for jurors the evidence presented during the past eight weeks, connecting the dots on dates and times of illegal records searches and alleged harassment by the former celebrity sleuth and his co-defendants.

Jurors were taken "inside a thoroughly corrupt criminal organization that disguised itself as a legitimate investigative agency." So well disguised, Saunders said, that Pellicano did work for law enforcement.

But the Pellicano Investigative Agency was in fact, "a criminal organization operated by a very well-connected and very well-paid thug," Saunders said.

Saunders reminded jurors that the victims, including comedian Garry Shandling, former Hollywood Reporter editor Anita Busch, producers Bo Zenga and Aaron Russo, did nothing wrong, other than get into a dispute with Pellicano clients.

The defense will present their closing arguments beginning today. (partialdiff)
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