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Private Investigators to pay over $600,000 settlement in boardroom spying case.

Washington, DC: (May-28-08) The Federal Trade Commission brought charges against several private investigators, alleging that they fraudulently obtained consumers' private phone records without their knowledge and consent and sold them to third parties. The suit claimed that Hewlett-Packard Co., a Palo Alto, CA, based company, hired the investigators in 2005 to secretly examine the private telephone logs of journalists, board members and HP employees to identify the source of leaks to the media. Court papers reveal that Hewlett-Packard admitted to the scheme in September 2006.

The federal lawsuit named Matthew DePante, his father, Joseph DePante, and their now-defunct company, Action Research Group Inc., which was based in Clearwater, FL. Sources, stated that the Federal Trade Commission imposed a $67,000 penalty against them. All but $3,000 was suspended due to their inability to pay. Court documents also show that the District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando division, also entered default judgments against DePante's subcontractors, Bryan Wagner and Cassandra Selvage and her company, Eye in the Sky Investigations Inc., who must pay $428,085 and $110,762 respectively.

Private Investigators in the News

[YAHOO NEWS: FTC settles with investigators in HP spy scheme]

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Published on Jun-7-08


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