Dunn, others to be indicted in HP privacy scandal

Summary:News.com's Greg Sandoval reports: Hewlett-Packard's embattled former chairman Patricia Dunn and four others involved in HP's spying campaign will be indicted Wednesday by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, according to published news reports.

News.com's Greg Sandoval reports:

Hewlett-Packard's embattled former chairman Patricia Dunn and four others involved in HP's spying campaign will be indicted Wednesday by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, according to published news reports.

The others expected to be indicted are Kevin T. Hunsaker, HP's former senior lawyer; Ronald DeLia, a private detective; Joseph DePante, owner of data-brokering company Action Research Group; and Bryan Wagner, a Colorado man believed to have been an employee of Action Research, according to stories in the New York Times (registration required) and BusinessWeek.

Dunn, who documents show was intimately involved in the investigation, was notified of the indictment that will be filed against her, a source close to her told CNET News.com.

The five will be indicted on four felony charges: using false or fraudulent pretenses to obtain confidential information from a public utility; unauthorized access to computer data; identity theft; and conspiracy to commit each of those crimes, the Times reported.

So far, HP CEO and chairman Mark Hurd is in the clear (although his proximity to the details is still being investigated). I'm not sure what the potential penalties are should Dunn and the others end up getting convicted. But California Attorney General will surely look to position Dunn as the ringleader in this operation. Then, there will be the lawsuits.

Already, the cellco's are launching some of their suits. Do the cross-triangulations. There are multiple maligned parties (including reporters, media companies, their families, HP directors, their families, and employees). Then, there are multiple entities to sue. HP has the most money of them all, so it will be at the front of the list. But there are all the third parties that were involved. Then, the individual perpetrators (like Patricia Dunn) will probably be targeted. Not to mention any penalties that are levied by agencies like the SEC which has launched its own probe into the matter.

Topics: Hewlett-Packard

About

David Berlind was fomerly the executive editor of ZDNet. David holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems. Prior to becoming a tech journalist in 1991, David was an IT manager.

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