Mary Nolan, a former California divorce attorney, has been sentenced to two years in prison for illegal eavesdropping and tax evasion. The sentence was handed down on February 3, 2014 by Senior United States District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer. Nolan, 61, must also serve three years of supervised release, 240 hours of community service, and pay restitution in the amount of $468,918.01.
Nolan was indicted by a grand jury on September 6, 2012 and charged with tax evasion for the years 2005 through 2009, unlawful interception of communication, and conspiracy to unlawfully intercept communications.
In pleading guilty to the charges, Mary Nolan admitted causing her staff to illegally intercept telephone conversations by accessing a listening device installed in a victim’s car by private investigator Christopher Butler. Nolan also confessed to willfully evaded over $400,000 in federal taxes and obstructed justice by submitting false contracts to the Internal Revenue Service during and audit.
Christopher Butler pleaded guilty to unlawful interception and several other offenses in May of 2012. He was sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment after admitting to have installed approximately 75 to 100 unlawful listening devices at the request of clients or their attorneys. Butler’s sentence will be serviced concurrently with the 96-month sentence on his other counts of conviction.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorneys Hartley M. K. West and Alycee Lane were in charge of the prosecution.