Two men face federal charges for allegedly intercepting and recording a phone conversation between former Buffalo Bills General Manager Buddy Nix and Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik, reports WGRZ.
Joshua Barber, 20, and Nicholas Kaiser, 20, both of Plymouth, Massachusetts, were charged with intentionally intercepting a wire communication and with making a telephone call without disclosing their identity with the intent to annoy or harass the person at the called number, according to the Office of U.S. Attorney William Hochul in Buffalo.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael DiGiacomo, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, Joshua Barber telephoned the office of former Buffalo Bills General Manger Buddy Nix claiming to be Tampa Bay Buccaneers General Manger Mark Dominik. Buddy Nix answered the telephone but there was no one on the line. Defendant Barber then telephoned the office of Mark Dominik claiming to be Buddy Nix.
While Barber was on hold with Mark Dominik’s office, Nix’s office placed a call using the re-dial function to what was believed to be the office of Mark Dominik. While on hold with Dominik’s office, defendant Barber saw the incoming call from Nix. Using the conference function, defendant Barber connected Nix and Dominik without either parties knowledge or consent. That call was subsequently recorded by defendant Kaiser. The complaint further states that after the conversation was recorded, defendants Barber and Kaiser sold the unauthorized recording to a media outlet.
“Under limited circumstances not relevant here, the privacy of communications–a discussion with one’s doctor, among family members and friends, between business associates, or indeed any conversation intended to be private–is the expectation of every citizen,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “This office will continue to enforce laws which protect the privacy of such communications.
The 20-year-olds face federal charges that carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
Barber and Kaiser sold the recorded conversation to Deadspin, which posted it on March 12, the same day the Bills released quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The conversation provided hints of Fitzpatrick’s fate.
“We’re still struggling here with our quarterback,” Nix said to the man he thought was Dominik.
“I say struggling. We’re not really struggling. He’s going to have to do something, or we’ll have to,”
Nix added, “You can’t afford to pay that kind of money to a guy that’s fighting for probably a backup job.”
Nix announced May 13 that he would be stepping down as the Bills GM and would take an advisory role as special assistant.[SI Wire]