HOUSTON (CN) – SEC investigations often may be years late and billions of dollars short, but apparently it can pay to impersonate an SEC investigator. An energy brokerage firm claims a woman “believed to be an agent for a competitor” posed as an SEC investigator to swipe confidential information.
Amerex Brokers sued Jane Doe aka Jessica Mueller in Harris County Court.
Amerex contracts for the actual delivery of electrical power, and also deal in “derivatives that are based in whole or in part upon the price of electrical power,” the complaint states. It also brokers natural gas.
Amerex says: “On July 28, 2011, an unknown caller identifying herself as Jessica Mueller from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (‘SEC’) contacted Amerex three times. Amerex has confirmed that the caller was not an SEC investigator, and falsely identified her identity.
“Each call was made from a restricted, unknown telephone number that Amerex has been unable to obtain from its phone company without a subpoena.”
Amerex says Mueller/Doe called its main telephone line at 9:025, 9:20 and 9:27 a.m. that day.
“Upon request, defendant was transferred to brokers on three of Amerex’s desks from whom she requested information regarding the identities of Amerex’s brokers and confidential information about each broker’s desk assignment. Defendant successfully obtained a substantial amount of confidential information from three brokers based on her misrepresentation of her identity and the purpose for her call,” Amerex says in its complaint.
Amerex says it “makes a significant investment of its reputation, technology and expense” by providing its brokers with confidential information, and a competitor getting access to this data “would be devastating.”
Amerex seeks a temporary restraining order to stop Doe from contacting its employees, her from disclosing its brokers’ names, and from soliciting its brokers to work for another company. It also seeks punitive damages from Doe/Mueller for fraud, conversion and misappropriation of trade secrets.
Amerex is represented by David Barron with Cozen O’Connor.