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Pellicano Trial Exclusive: Excerpts From FBI Investigation

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I have exclusively reviewed the evidence gathered this weekend by the F.B.I. relating to the government's intent to still try and prove, despite testimony from their own witness to the contrary, that former Sgt. Mr. Arneson had something to do with filing a fraudulent bankruptcy application and that he lied about it to the government. This investigation was done, ironically enough, quite a bit after the government had already cross-examined Mr. Arneson on this particular issue. So basically, the government had to argue today that they'd done a good faith investigation of Mr. Arneson's alleged fraudulent bankruptcy filing before cross-examining Mr. Arneson on the issue for over an hour even though they'd never interviewed David C. Miller, who along with his wife, owned the company Child Technology Institute that was listed as one of Arneson's creditors on his bankruptcy petition.

I have learned that the F.B.I. conducted a series of interviews this weekend with two witnesses relating to the government's original claim that Mr. Arneson filed a fraudulent bankruptcy petition. Probably, these F.B.I. interviews should have been conducted before the government put Phyllis Miller on the stand to try and impeach Mr. Arneson's claim that he never signed or filed a bankruptcy application. You would imagine that after accusing Mr. Arneson of filing for bankruptcy over five years ago, that the government clearly would have already investigated this issue, but apparently you would have been wrong.

Basically, by calling Ms. Miller and having her verify Mr. Arneson's claim that it wasn't his handwriting on the bankruptcy petition, Mr. Saunders managed to provide verification that Mr. Arneson had been telling the truth about never signing or completing any bankruptcy petition. And, after a six year investigation, the F.B.I. spent the weekend trying to prevent a mistrial.

One of the F.B.I. interviews this weekend was with Ms. Sandra Olin, the next witness set to be called by the government to support the whole fraudulent bankruptcy filing allegation. Ms. Olin had been interviewed before, but the F.B.I. had failed the last time around to ask her about her association with the Millers and what they were doing on Mr. Arneson's bankruptcy application as one of his creditors. (Ms. Olin had told the F.B.I. that she allegedly opened an escrow and negotiated with another company on behalf of Mr. Arneson.)

According to an F.B.I. 302, exclusively reviewed by the me, Ms. Olin told the F.B.I. this weekend that she had no knowledge of someone else filing the bankruptcy petition for Mr. Arneson and that she had nothing to do with its filing. In the 302 prepared by Agent Corrie L. Lyle who along with Agent Jonathan Mosser, interviewed Ms. Olin on April 27th, she told them that "she had nothing to do with David and Phyllis MIller filling out the Arneson bankruptcy petition," according to the F.B.I. notes. Ms. Olin told the F.B.I., according to their notes, that she'd maintained the Arneson file for ten years because the officer still owed her money from assisting with the [escrow] transaction.

Olin also told the F.B.I. that "she was not aware of any criminal behavior on the part of Phyllis Miller. Olin stated that at one point, David Miller showed up at the gate of her gated community but Olin refused Miller entry," according to the F.B.I. 302. "Olin stated that she did not believe Phyllis was guilty of anything but if Phyllis had done anything wrong, it would be because of David Miller," according to the F.B.I. notes. And, while Ms. Olin apparently knew that David Miller was in prison, "she did not know why Miller was in prison." Apparently, Ms. Miller had only told Ms. Olin that Mr. Miller was not guilty. "Ms. Olin did not want to know anything else."

While Ms. Olin told the F.B.I., according to their notes, that she couldn't recall how she's met Phyllis Miller, she did recall that Mr. Miller was in prison. And she also recalled, according to F.B.I. notes, that after Mr. Miller's arrest, Ms. Miller had begged Ms. Olin to lend her money because Ms. Olin was without a home. Apparently, that approximately $50,000 debt had never been repaid.

Finally, Ms. Olin told the F.B.I., according to their notes, "that she was never paid for her services and did not even receive a thank you from Mr. Arneson." Ms. Olin pointed out correspondence to the F.B.I. in which Mr. Miller "indicated that he was going to speak to Mr. Arneson about the outstanding debts."

The F.B.I. also found time on Friday to head over to the California rehabilitation Center in Norco to interview David C. Miller. (Mr. Miller is serving an eleven year sentence for fraud and forgery.) The F.B.I. also noted by way of background, that this witness told them that his first conviction in 1992 was an arrest for possession and assault with a firearm. And according to the F.B.I. 302, "HE IS CURRENTLY SERVING HIS SENTENCE FOR THEFT OF REAL ESTATE BECAUSE HE WAS THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER" OF HIS COMPANY.

Mr. Miller, according to an F.B.I. 302 prepared by Agent Corrie Lyle on April 27, 2009, stated to the F.B.I. that "Arneson had given him the information on tthe bankruptcy petition," but that Mr. Miller "could not recall whose idea it was to file for bankruptcy." Mr. Miller also did not recall signing for Mr. Arneson, according to the F.B.I. five page 302, but said that "circumstances of the financial situation" may have required him to sign. Miller later "acknowledged his handwriting on the bankruptcy petition" and also "believed that the phone number listed on the application" was his. He also stated that Child Technology Institute was his company and that the MIllers likely forgave any consulting fees owed by Arneson on the transaction, according to the F.B.I. notes. And, Mr. Miller, told the F.B.I. that "he did not forge the documents because Miller would have had authorization from Arneson." Finally, Mr. Miller also informed the F.B.I. that he "has filed bankruptcy for other clients, but Miller cannot recall with specificity whether he had to refile and sign for any other clients. Miller stated that his wife would know that it was Miller's writing on the petition," and again insisted that he'd done it at Mr. Arneson's direction.

And so, one is left to wonder why after a six year investigation, which included accusing Mr. Arneson of filing a fraudulent bankruptcy petition over five years ago which he vehemently and repeatedly denied, did the government fail to investigate his claim that his signature had been forged. And why, after digging up Ms. Miller to testify against Mr. Arneson, did the government fail to have her properly interviewed and recognize that she was in a real estate business with her husband, a convicted felon who was found guilty of forgery and filing fraudulent documents to steal real estate? And how did they manage to miss that there are a number of suspect documents of a similar nature that purport to have Ms. Miller's name and signature on them, including suspect documents associated with the CTI bankruptcy. (During the CTI bankruptcy, a lawyer's name was used in connection with its filing who later told the court that she'd had nothing to do with the bankruptcy and that her named had been used without her permission.)

Given that the focus of much of the F.B.I.'s investigation of Mr. Pellicano's employees focused more on his office staff than on his clients--many of whom constitute the most prominent attorneys in Los Angeles--one had to wonder about whether the F.B.I. and the government had the correct focus throughout this entire investigation.

Also in more Pellicano news, the press is anxious to get their hands on recordings that have been exclusively featured on The Huffington Post. According to several sources, the press has filed papers trying to get access to the audio recordings entered as exhibits in the case, including a few that haven't yet been introduced into evidence since they pertain to the Pellicano/Terry Christensen trial. The Associated Press has filed a motion requesting that they be given access to recordings of conversations between Chris Rock and Mr. Pellicano, Lisa and Tom Gores, Mr. Pellicano and Mr. Dennis Wasser, the well-known divorce attorney who figures to play a prominent role in the Christensen case as he represented Mr. Kirk Kerkorian during his divorce.