Prosecutors Ex-FBI man used job to aid Norman


LOS ANGELES – A former FBI agent who pleaded guilty to illegally accessing an FBI computer was sentenced Monday to a year of probation, including three months home confinement.

Court papers revealed that Peter Norell Jr. also tried to bully a business associate of professional golfer Greg Norman, warning him to steer clear of the Australian golfer’s divorce proceedings.

Norell was prosecuted for threatening to launch an investigation to help a friend collect an unpaid debt, and pleaded guilty in March to a misdemeanor count of illegally accessing a government computer three times in 2005. Each time, Norell was trying to get information about a man only identified by the initials “T.S.” in federal court papers.

Norell also misused his authority to stop Norman’s former Great White Shark Enterprises partner, Earl Takefman, from interfering in the divorce proceedings with then-wife Laura, court papers said.

The document cites the Takefman incident as another instance in which Norell improperly used his position to launch a probe on behalf of a friend when “there was no legitimate FBI interest in doing so.”

In 2006, Norell used an FBI phone to tell Takefman to “keep (his) mouth shut” and stay out of Norman’s “high-stakes (and entirely private) divorce,” the document said. He contacted Takefman on behalf of a friend who knew the golfer.

Norman is not suspected of wrongdoing, and Norell was not criminally charged for the incident.

Norell was the head of the FBI’s white-collar crime unit in Santa Ana, Calif., and worked for the agency for 14 years. Norell was assigned to the government’s unsuccessful prosecution of former Broadcom Corp. executives for alleged securities fraud.

Norman did not immediately respond to an e-mail sent through his website. McConville did not immediately respond to a message left at his office.