A man the Village Voice calls "one of the most prolific television hoaxers in U.S. history" was charged today with felony eavesdropping for allegedly making prank job-offer calls to football coaches and capturing his end of the shenanigans on video.
Of course, this is nothing new. Any Howard Stern listener would recognize this modus. But the L.A. County District Attorney's office says that recording the calls was illicit:
Prosecutors say 32-year-old Kenneth Edward Tarr of L.A. posted the results on social media sites.
Of particular interest to Angelenos were allegations that Tarr called around to offer USC's recent head football coach opening to Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and to Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy.
All in good fun it seems.
Dungy even said in an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show that USC had contacted him about the gig. Except it hadn't.
According to a District Attorney's statement:
The defendant allegedly called a number of sports coaches while assuming the identity of representatives from other teams and gauged their interest in managing other sports teams and, in at least one instance, offered the victim a coaching position.
The victims were from such organizations as the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, Major League Baseball and university football programs.
Tarr is a professional prankster, it seems, whose appearances as different characters on at least eight reality daytime TV shows, including Judge Joe Brown, were documented by the Village Voice.
Over the past five months, working out of his modest Los Angeles apartment, Tarr had talked his way onto eight different shows taped in five different cities--each time cloaked in a different persona. He'd become a dissonant saboteur in the machinery of sleaze that sprawls across our televisions.
If convicted Tarr could face three years behind bars, prosecutors said.
[Added at 1:59 p.m.]: Tarr was arrested by LAPD Hollywood Division officers on the morning of Dec. 9, according to L.A. County Sheriff's Department inmate booking info.
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He was released the next day on $20,000 bond, according to the data.
The District Attorney's criminal complaint alleges Tarr ...
... did intentionally and without the consent of all parties to a confidential communication, by means of an electronic amplifying and recording device, eavesdrop and record the confidential communication.