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Four people facing felony charges can accept a deal in which they would be charged with one misdemeanor charge

According to sources familiar with the HP pretexting spy scandal, the California attorney general's office has offered former Hewlett-Packard Chairwoman Patricia Dunn and four other defendants a bargain in which they can plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge.  The state originally filed four felony charges against the five main people involved.  Along with Dunn, California has filed charges against former HP ethics director Kevin Hunsaker and three private investigators contracted by the company:  Matthew DePante, Bryan Wagner and Ronald DeLia.  

Wagner, a Colorado private investigator, became the first person to plead guilty to charges stemming from the HP spying case.  Wagner pled guilty to conspiracy and aggravated identity theft charges for his role in gathering personal and confidential information on a number of HP board members and journalists in a deceptive manner.

Stephen Naratil, attorney for Wagner, said that the California attorney general’s office proposed to reduce the felony charges to one misdemeanor count at the end of December of last year -- the misdemeanor charge would carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a fine up to $5,000.  The other four have not accepted the offer put on the table by the state.

Each felony count carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine ranging from $10,000 to $25,000.





"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home
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