The California Attorney General's office late Wednesday charged former Hewlett-Packard Chairwoman Patricia Dunn, a second high-ranking HP executive and three others with felony fraud and conspiracy in the wake of a controversial internal investigation launched to determine the source of board leaks to the media. Dunn was charged along with former HP counsel and ethics chief Kevin Hunsaker, who has, like Dunn, since resigned from the computer maker, and three outsiders: Ronald R. DeLia, managing director of Security Outsourcing Solutions, the Boston-based security firm that ran an investigation into press leaks for HP; Matthew Depante, who oversees a Florida-based firm known as Action Research Group (ARG) that allegedly brokered the phone record data; and Bryan Wagner, a Colorado-based employee of ARG.
All five face four felony counts of fraudulent wire communications, wrongful use of computer data, identity theft and conspiracy. The charges all stem from the use of pretexting, through which investigators obtained the phone records of HP board members, employees and some journalists by using those individuals' social security numbers and other personal data, and by representing themselves as the owners of the phone records.
HP declined to comment on the action, saying only that it "is continuing to cooperate with state and federal investigators."
News source: Tech News World