From the President


By James D. Ratley, CFE

The allegations are that the outside investigators impersonated company board members, employees, and journalists to obtain their private phone records. These pretext calls were reportedly made to identify the source of leaks to the media.

Although the person purportedly responsible for leaking important company data to the media was identified, this might be a case in which the "cure was worse than the illness." The California attorney general has recently filed criminal charges against two HP employees as well as the three investigators whom he says are responsible for the pretext phone calls.

Additionally, HP and the investigative company have received substantial damaging press. Lawmakers in California and several other states are proposing legislation that would outlaw any type of investigative tactic that would involve the use of pretexting. At this early stage, it's impossible to know the full effect this scandal will have, but it may likely result in the loss of some common investigative techniques that are currently legal in many jurisdictions.

Patricia Dunn, the former chairman of HP, has not only lost her job as chair, but she has also been indicted. All of this has occurred at a time when she's scheduled to begin treatment for stage four ovarian cancer.

 

 

 


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