A former veteran FBI agent pleaded guilty Monday to unauthorized computer access for obtaining information from bureau computers that was later used by Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano in defending himself against federal racketeering and wiretapping charges.
Mark T. Rossini pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor counts in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., said his attorney, Adam S. Hoffinger.
Rossini faces a maximum of five years in federal prison but is likely to receive a much lighter sentence under federal guidelines, according to a news release by the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C.
Rossini admitted to conducting more than 40 unauthorized searches of the bureau’s Automated Case Support System, which contains confidential and sensitive information relating to ongoing and historic cases investigated by the FBI.
Many of the searches related to the criminal case against Pellicano, who was tried and convicted earlier this year in Los Angeles.
Rossini admitted to downloading an FBI report from the database and providing it to person “X,” with whom he had a close personal relationship, according to a formal admission, called a “Statement of the Offense.”
That person, identified by sources familiar with the case as actress Linda Fiorentino, had a relationship with Pellicano and provided the report to one of his attorneys, court documents state.
An attempt to reach Fiorentino was not successful.
The confidential report contained information that Pellicano’s lawyers used to challenge the credibility of the lead investigator on the case.
The lawyers were unaware that prosecutors had already presented the report to the judge, who determined that it did not contain information that needed to be shared with the defense.
Pellicano was found guilty in spring of more than 70 counts of racketeering, wiretapping and conspiracy. He is awaiting sentencing.
Rossini, who has resigned from the FBI, is scheduled to be sentenced March 31.