CLEVELAND (CN) – Wells Fargo & Co. did not notify its home mortgage customers for a year that it had allowed computer discs containing their personal and financial information to be stolen, the customers claim in a class-action complaint in Cuyahoga County Court.
The class claims that 20 percent of Wells Fargo’s business comes from home mortgages, through co-defendant Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. The stolen computer discs contained information from the defendants’ electronically based mortgage service, the Wells Fargo Equity Enhancement Program. The discs were stolen in September 2005 and defendants did not notify customers until Sept. 8, 2006, the complaint states.
Lead plaintiff Tod Kidman claims Wells Fargo did not protect the class’s information “by any security measures” despite a history of similar, electronic security breaches: in October 2003 (caused by a felon hired as a temp), November 2003, February 2004 (concerning 35,000 customers), October-November 2004 (thousands of customers), May 2006, and August 2006. “Due to Wells Fargo’s history of thefts, the further misappropriation of confidential records was eminently foreseeable, and even predictable,” the suit states. It claims this stolen material was not even encrypted. The class demands damages and an injunction ordering Wells Fargo to protect them from further identity theft. It is represented by Bashein & Bashein and Weisman Kennedy & Berris. See complaint.