Private Investigator to Plead Guilty in HP Probe

Several media outlets, including CBS News, Mercury News, and the Computer Business Review are reporting that one of the private investigators charged in the HP scandal will plead guilty today under a plea deal.

It is reported that 29 year old Bryan Wagner, of Littleton, Colorado is expected to enter a guilty at a scheduled arraignment hearing today in a San Jose federal court.

According to Stephen Naratil, Wagner’s lawyer, his client “accepts the full responsibility for what he’s done, although he never thought or intended his actions to be illegal…“He was assured numerous times that what he was doing was legal.”

It appears that federal prosecutors applied the preasure and presented an offer to Wagner in return for his cooperation. There is no doubt that Wagner’s testimony about his involvement will help federal prosecutors develop a case against all those involved.

Under the proposed deal, Wagner faces a two year manditory prison sentence on identity theft charges and a maximum of 5 on the conspiracy charges.

This is a very important case to follow as the results of the federal probe, potential convictions and penalty phase will have a significant impact on future legislation. The January issue of PI Magazine features several articles about the HP scandal and our responsibilities as investigators to remain ethical, at all times, on all cases.

What’s your opinion on this? Add your comments below.

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2 thoughts on “Private Investigator to Plead Guilty in HP Probe

  1. I have worked with and for many people over the years who have walked this fine line. Training and education is the most practical solution for the PI Industry to avoid this type of trouble. Our methods are open to interpretation depending on state laws. In this highly competitive business, we push the envelope and pay a high price when our tactics are questioned. But if we educate investigators, determine through legislation what is acceptable, we could avoid this type of situation.

  2. Is this Federal? I thought it was the California AG and in Santa Clara County Superior Court. Either way, I wonder if he’s getting some preferential sentencing for turning his “records” over, so that they can now go backwards.

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