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May 2009


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Ex-FBI Agent Mark Rossini Gets Slap on Wrist: One Year Probation in Case Where he Leaked Secret Document to Actress Linda Fiorentino

Mark Rossini (left)/YouTube

Mark Rossini (left)/YouTube

By Allan Lengel
WASHINGTON — In the end — after all the drama —  it came down to a slap on the wrist.

In relatively quick fashion, a federal magistrate judge Thursday morning in Washington sentenced ex-FBI agent Mark Rossini to one year probation and a $5,000 fine for illegally accessing FBI documents and leaking one of them to his lover, actress Linda Fiorentino.

Fiorentino  passed the document on to an attorney for rogue detective Anthony Pelicano, who was eventually convicted of illegally spying on some of Hollywood’s biggest stars and received a 15 -year prison term.

“I am so profoundly and deeply ashamed and remorseful,” said Rossini, 47, as a he stood before U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola.

The sentence fell far short of what was already considered by some to be a lenient recommendation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of five years probation and a $10,000 fine.

Rossini left the courtroom without comment along with his brother and his attorney who simply said they were grateful to “have it behind us.”

Rossini, a flamboyant agent who became fodder for the N.Y. tabloids after he started dating actress Linda Fiorentino, had friends in high places in the FBI and had a successful 17-year career.

On Dec. 8 that all came to an end when he pleaded guilty to five counts of criminal computer access for illegally accessing the FBI Automated Case Support System (ACS) more than 40 times for personal use in Washington and New York in 2007.

At the start of the proceedings in the second floor courtroom, Rossini’s attorney Adam S. Hoffinger told the judge that his client was remorseful and paid the price by losing his earning power in a job “he took great pride in”.

He said Rossini had been subjected to “public and private shame” but was “a victim of his own actions.”

He did, however, request that the probation time recommended by the prosecution be reduced, a request the judge granted.

Judge Facciola, a former federal prosecutor, noted that he and Rossini , were both from New York and that he came to admire a good number of people in law enforcement and said sentencing Rossini was “not easy for me to do”.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tejpal Singh Chawla said he thought the five years probation was more fitting, saying the crime was a  very serious breach and noted that he lied to his supervisors and investigators about the case.

Rossini’s attorney said his client was currently working in New Orleans with at-risk youth. He declined to comment on Rossini’s relationship with Fiorentino.

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