The Pellicano scandal gets curiouser and curiouser, and wider and wider. According to U.S. District Court papers filed today, the U.S. Attorney’s office accused defendant Anthony Pellicano of having “recently conspired with known organized crime connections in Chicago to place a ‘hit’ on [associate] Alex Proctor inside a federal prison in order to prevent Proctor from testifying against him.” This government reply to Pellicano’s first motion for discovery was meant to convince the judge not to grant the P.I.’s fishing expedition. Prosecutors said they’d already informed Pellicano’s counsel that “the government has corroborated information” about his alleged plot for a mob prison hit. “The government believes that defendant is using this motion to try to find out what, if anything, Proctor has said about him not because it has any relevance to this case (it does not) but so defendant can determine whether Proctor is cooperating against him in connection with the state case.” The prosecutors also noted the recent allegations were ”the subject of an ongoing investigation that might result in additional criminal charges.”

This is the second time in as many weeks that Pellicano has been publicly accused of making threats from behind bars. Before this, A Vanity Fair correspondent writing about the Pellicano scandal, John Connolly, claims he’d been told by the U.S. Attorney’s Office that Pellicano had made a threat against him. Steven Gruel, pellicano’s lawyer, confirmed he’d received the Proctor threat info from the feds on Friday. But the lawyer told the Los Angeles Times “this seems to be a common thread for the prosecution, that Pellicano is making threats against witnesses. And yet I have not seen any avidence of it whatsoever.” But the newspaper reported that Proctor, 62, was moved in recent months from a federal prison in Greenville, Ill., to a federal facility in southeast Georgia. And that the purported plot was uncovered early this year when Pellicano was about to be released from a prison near Bakersfield on explosives charges stemming from the November 2002 raid of his office. For some time now, authorities have charged that Pellicano should not be released on bail because he posed a threat to potential witnesses.

Proctor is the strong-arm guy arrested on charges of menacing journalist Anita Busch. who at the time was working as a contract writer for the Los Angeles Times. Proctor was accused of placing a dead fish, a rose and a one-word note reading “Stop” on Busch’s vandalized car windshield, and Proctor eventually told authorities he’d been hired by Pellicano. Both men have been charged with threatening the reporter. During the search of Pellicano’s office, where all those wiretap computer files were found that are the subject of the ongoing scandal, the FBI also discovered a “call list” with Proctor’s name on it and later obtained telephone records showing communication between Pellicano and Proctor. Is it just my cynical perspective, or do these guys increasingly act like they’ve seen one too many mob movies?

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