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Trial Opens for SBC Employee Tied to Pellicano Investigation

September 20, 2006|Greg Krikorian | Times Staff Writer

A federal prosecutor charged Tuesday that a former SBC employee repeatedly lied to a grand jury about her conversations with a co-worker indicted in the racketeering and wiretapping probe of onetime private eye Anthony Pellicano.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Kevin Lally told a Los Angeles federal jury that Joann Wiggan "brazenly committed perjury by telling lie after lie" about her contact with Ray Turner, another onetime SBC employee accused of aiding Pellicano's alleged criminal enterprise.

Wiggan, 52, who worked for SBC for more than 30 years, is charged with lying to a federal grand jury last October and again in January when she testified that she had had no telephone contact with Turner in years. To the contrary, authorities alleged, phone records showed more than 100 calls from Turner to Wiggan's office voice mail from 1999 through 2002, and other records also reflected calls between their home phones and cellphones.

The alleged contact between Wiggan and Turner is considered significant to authorities because two other former SBC employees have admitted that they improperly provided confidential information about SBC customers to Turner.

Wiggan's trial is expected to last a week and is the first resulting from the investigation of Pellicano and others by the FBI and U.S. attorney's office.

To date, 14 people have been charged in the case, and half of them have pleaded guilty to charges ranging from lying to authorities to acknowledging that they hired Pellicano to wiretap others. Pellicano, Turner and the remaining defendants have pleaded not guilty in a case that is scheduled for trial next April.

greg.krikorian@latimes.com

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