Two 20-year-old men from Massachusetts face federal charges related to a March phone prank played on two NFL general managers.
The Buffalo News reported that Joshua Barber and Nicholas Kaiser of Plymouth, Mass., have been ordered to appear Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder in Buffalo to answer charges of intentionally intercepting a wire communication and making a telephone call without disclosing their identity with the intent to annoy or harass the person at the called number.
The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $500,000 fine, the newspaper reported.
The Associated Press reported that in March, Barber and Kaiser prank-called Buffalo Bills general manager Buddy Nix and used a conference-call function to set up a call between Nix and Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik -- a call they are accused of recording.
The March 8 call, which lasted nearly six minutes, was posted March 12 on the website Deadspin. Federal prosecutors said Barber and Kaiser sold the unauthorized recording to Deadspin, which published a detailed story about the prank along with the audio.
From the Buffalo News:
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael DiGiacomo, who is handling the case, said Barber allegedly phoned Nix's office on March 8 claiming to be Mark Dominik, general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Nix answered the phone, found no one on the line and had his office call back.
In the meantime, DiGiacomo said, Barber called Dominik's office claiming to be Nix.
When Nix's office hit the redial button and called back to Barber's phone, thinking it was Dominik's office, Barber connected him with Dominik and secretly recorded their six-minute conversation off the phone's speaker, using a second cellphone.
The NFL immediately began an investigation after the recording became public on Deadspin.