ID Theft Victim: Class Action Against Wachovia

David A. Szwak

ID Theft Victim: Class Action Against Wachovia

Postby David A. Szwak » Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:52 pm

Identity Theft Victim Targets Wachovia Bank
By CATHERINE TOMASKO, ESQ., Andrews Publications Staff Writer

A victim of identity theft claims in a Pennsylvania federal court class
action that Wachovia Bank is liable for failing to prevent the
unauthorized access and disclosure of personal and financial information.

Aaron Mingo, who seeks to represent a class of all those who have
depository accounts with Wachovia, claims the bank was negligent because
it failed to use reasonable security measures to prevent the theft of
confidential information by its agents and/or staff.

Wachovia spokesperson Jim Baum said the bank does not comment on ongoing
litigation.

The suit, which is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania, explains that in April police announced the
arrests of several Wachovia employees in connection with the theft of
confidential customer information. Mingo says he was then contacted by
the bank and informed that his personal and financial information had
been stolen and revealed to third parties.

The information in question was supplied to the bank by Mingo when he
opened his accounts. It included identifying data such as his Social
Security number, date of birth, address and telephone number, the
complaint says.

The information, together with the plaintiff's financial information,
was stored in an electronic data storage system maintained exclusively
by the defendant, the action continues.

Mingo asserts that he believed his information would remain secure and
would only be used by the defendants for valid business purposes.
However, the information was stolen and disclosed or sold by the
defendant's agents and/or employees to third parties without his
consent, the suit claims.

Wachovia knew or should have known that customers' private information
was being stolen or misappropriated, Mingo contends.

He says the bank failed to adequately supervise employees, failed to
conduct background checks and did not uncover the theft in a timely
manner. Wachovia also allegedly failed to secure its electronic data
storage system to prevent the unauthorized access of private information.

Mingo alleges that as a result of Wachovia's negligence he has suffered
unspecified financial losses, exposure to continuing fraud, and anxiety
and embarrassment. The suit also raises claims for fraudulent
misrepresentation, invasion of privacy and conversion.

Claims for violations of Pennsylvania's Savings Associations Code, which
provides that bank records are private and may not be disclosed by bank
employees, are also alleged.

The action requests certification as a class, unspecified compensatory
and punitive damages, interest, costs, and attorney fees.

Mingo v. Wachovia Bank et al., No. 05-CV-6308, complaint filed (E.D. Pa.
Dec. 6, 2005).
Bank & Lender Liability Litigation Reporter
Volume 11, Issue 16
12/28/2005

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