Report: Dunn and four others to face charges in HP leak scandal

Indictments from Calif. attorney general's office could come today

Former Hewlett-Packard Co. Chairman Patricia Dunn, HP's former senior counsel, Kevin Hunsacker, and three others are expected to be charged with felonies in connection with the boardroom leak scandal at HP, according to The New York Times.

Dunn, who stepped down from the board last month after the scandal erupted, and Hunsacker, who left HP at about the same time, are expected to be charged with 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, according to the newspaper.

The charges are connected to efforts by the board to use pretexting to access the personal telephone records of board members and journalists in order to find out who was leaking senstive corporate data. Pretexting involves pretending to be someone else to get access to their phone records.

Dunn, in testimony last week before a congressional subcommittee, said she believed everything done in the leak probe was legal. That probe involved hiring outside investigators to look into the matter and led to a swarm of publicity about the company's efforts when it was unveiled in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission early in September.

According to the Times report, the other three people facing charges in the case are: Ronald L. DeLia, the operator of Security Outsourcing Solutions Inc.; private investigator Joe Depante, the owner of Action Research Group; and a Colorado man who obtained private phone records while working for DePante.

Officials in the office of California Attorney General Bill Lockyer could not immediately be reached for comment.

In a statement late this afternoon about the indictments, HP said "it is continuing to cooperate with state and federal investigators looking into the boardroom leaks issue. The company has no further comment."

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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