HP Spying Scandal Ends With a Whimper

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The HP boardroom spying scandal once transfixed the national media. It sparked Congressional hearings and lawsuits, and it changed the law. But it ended on Thursday in a mostly empty San Jose, California courtroom with a three-month conviction for Bryan Wagner, the low-level foot soldier who called up telephone companies under false pretenses to obtain the telephone records of HP board members, journalists and their families.

Wagner, a one-time private investigator from Everton, Colorado, will be the only person to serve jail time in the scandal, which dates back to 2005, when former HP Chairwoman Patricia Dunn launched a secret campaign, dubbed Operation Kona, to uncover boardroom leakers. Criminal charges against HP executives were eventually dropped, and the only other people to be convicted in the case, Wagner’s bosses, Joseph and Mathew DePante, were sentenced to three years probation in July.