…As The Investigation Begins…

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A criminal investigation was also launched into the matter. According to the Los Angeles Times, FBI agents seized videotapes from XtraJet's Santa Monica, Calif., office and launched a formal criminal investigation to determine whether the company broke any laws. The Times report said that XtraJet officials claimed they had allowed reporters from various news outlets to view the videotapes not to create a bidding war, but instead to "rebut news reports that Jackson had acted erratically on the flight or had asked to flee" the country. XtraJet corporate officer Jeffrey Borer told the newspaper that his company had received offers to buy the tape from several news outlets, which the company declined. Borer also said that the company had explored selling the tapes "as any businessperson would." That won’t happen any time soon, as a judge has barred the charter operator from physically altering the plane pending a December hearing and Geragos has secured a court order that prohibits the company from releasing the video footage until at least Dec. 19. AVweb attempted to contact XtraJet officials to get their side of the story but none of our numerous phone calls was returned.