One man’s trash is another man’s treasure … or it might be another man’s mortgage application, credit report, tax returns or bank statements. In this case, it’s the basis for charges filed by the Federal Trade Commission.
Gregory Navone, a Las Vegas mortgage broker, stored in his garage roughly 40 boxes of mortgage applications, tax returns, bank statements, photocopies of driver’s licenses and credit cards, and at least 230 credit reports. After that, he threw them all in a public dumpster.
The boxes of documents were found December 20, 2006 by a neighbor who’d complained before about loose trash and litter blowing into his yard from the nearby office building’s trash containers. A closer look revealed that the papers came from First Interstate Mortgage, which had an office just down the street.
Navone was registered as the president of First Interstate Mortgage, and First Interstate Realty and BNG LLC, which had offices at the Decatur Boulevard address where the documents were found.
The FTC filed a complaint with in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada on Dec. 30, 2008.
Navone is charged with violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Disposal Rule because he didn’t take reasonable care in protecting consumers’ information. And, because he gave his clients a written statement assuring them that the companies maintained “physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with federal standards to store and secure information about you from unauthorized access, alteration and destruction” (though apparently the companies didn’t), Navone is also charged with violating the FTC Act.