LOS ANGELES – Two men pleaded guilty Monday to charges of secretly videotaping Michael Jackson more than two years ago as he flew to Santa Barbara with his attorney to surrender in a child-molestation investigation.
Jeffrey Borer and Arvel Jett Reeves admitted they installed two digital videorecorders to record "a professional entertainer" and his lawyer as the pair traveled on a private jet from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara in November 2003, according to their plea agreements.
The entertainer they recorded was Michael Jackson and his attorney at the time was Mark Geragos, although they are not cited by name in the plea agreements. Jackson was later found not guilty of the child molestation charges.
Borer and Reeves each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in federal district court, said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles.
As part of the deal, federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss two other charges — endeavoring to intercept oral communication and witness tampering — in a three-count indictment filed against them in September.
A judge will ultimately decide whether they should each be sentenced to up to five years in prison, three years of probation, and pay a fine of $250,000 at a hearing scheduled for July 12.
Borer was the owner of XtraJet, which operated a Gulfstream jet that carried Jackson. Reeves was the owner of Chino-based Executive Aviation, which provided maintenance service for XtraJet's aircraft fleet.
According to the plea agreement, Reeves purchased video and audio equipment and, with an unindicted suspect, secretly installed the recorders in the airplane's cabin. They were unable to install the remote microphones because Reeves didn't get the proper connectors, so the two recordings were made without sound.
Borer, who instructed Reeves to obtain and install the equipment, intended "to sell these recordings to the media for a large sum of money," the agreement said.