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The federal grand jury indictment against Sharlene Abrams is the latest development in the government's backdating investigation of Mercury, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard Co. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil suit in June against Abrams and three other former Mercury officials - Ammon Landan, former chairman and chief executive; Douglas Smith, another former CFO; and Susan Skaer, former general counsel - accusing them of concealing the backdating of their own stock-option grants and helping the company hide backdating transactions that boosted executive compensation.