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HP Leak Case May End in Settlement

Embattled former and current HP execs expected to settle state lawsuit over pretexting scandal

(San Jose, Calif.) Attorney General Bill Lockyer will announce a settlement agreement Thursday with Hewlett-Packard Co. over the company's shady tactics to ferret out media leaks, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The person requested anonymity because the court paperwork hadn't been filed.

The settlement will be filed simultaneously with a lawsuit, marking the first civil case brought by authorities against Palo Alto-based HP for the scandal that erupted in September and led to criminal charges against the former chairwoman and four others.

No further details of the settlement were available. An HP spokeswoman declined to comment.

Prosecutors said the company hired outside detectives who tricked phone companies into disclosing the private phone records of directors, journalists and others so the company could track the source of news leaks.

Former Chairwoman Patricia Dunn, who was ousted over the incident, former ethics chief Kevin Hunsaker and three outside investigators, Ronald DeLia, Matthew DePante and Bryan Wagner, pleaded not guilty in Santa Clara County Superior Court to charges of identity theft and fraud for their roles.

Their next hearing is scheduled Jan. 17.

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