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.
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