Feds charge investigator in HP spy case

One of the private investigators hired to ferret out the source of a news leak is charged with federal identity theft and conspiracy.

One of the private investigators hired to ferret out the source of a news leak at Hewlett-Packard has been charged with federal identity theft and conspiracy.

Bryan Wagner is accused as masquerading as an unidentified journalist in order to obtain the reporter's private phone records, according to a copy of a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California.

Wagner, along with Patricia Dunn , the former chairman of HP, and three others have already been charged in California with four felonies, including identity theft.

Wagner could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.

Tasked with finding out who among HP's board of directors was leaking information to the media, the five are accused of obtaining private records belonging to HP employees, board members and journalists through false pretenses.

Wagner, who could face a maximum of seven years in prison, is the only one of the five to be charged with federal crimes.

Calls to the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco were not returned Wednesday.

About the author

Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.

 

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