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A former insurance claims manager accused of planting a keystroke recording device on a workplace computer pleaded innocent Monday in federal court. Larry Lee Ropp, 46, was indicted last month on one count of endeavoring to intercept electronic communications, a violation of federal wiretapping statutes. Ropp is accused of installing the device, known as a keystroke logger, on a computer used by the secretary to the Anaheim, Calif., company’s vice president in order to obtain e-mails, passwords, mailings lists and other information. The indictment charges he gave some documents relating to the company’s handling of claims to the California Department of Insurance. The department was working with a civil attorney who was working on a class action lawsuit against the company, Bristol West Insurance Group/Coast National Insurance Co. After the attorney learned Ropp was using the key logging device, he told Ropp he did not want materials obtained in that way, the indictment says. A public defender assigned to Ropp’s case did not immediately return a call for comment Monday. Ropp was fired in September. Soon after, he asked a former co-worker to retrieve the key logging device, the indictment states. The FBI began investigating Ropp after the co-worker reported the request. Ropp told the FBI he was operating as a whistleblower for the Department of Insurance. The department told the FBI it had never asked Ropp to obtain any evidence he would not be able to obtain in the normal course of business. Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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