Oct 162009
 October 16, 2009  Posted by  Breaches, Court, Govt, U.S.

Merikay Wootton, 63, Lenexa, Kan., has been charged with unlawfully disclosing confidential information while she was an employee of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The crime is alleged to have occurred from Aug. 28, 2008, through July 10, 2009, in Overland Park, Kan.

According to the indictment, Wootton was working as a loan officer for Columbian Bank and Trust of Overland Park, Kan., when the bank failed and was placed in receivership with the FDIC on Aug. 22, 2008. Wootton was then employed by the FDIC’s Division of Resolutions and Receiverships to assist with bank closing activities at Columbian Bank and Trust. Her duties included assisting in selling properties with loans that were in default, which gave her access to information concerning the least amount of money the FDIC would accept to sell the properties. She also had access to confidential financial records of the FDIC and personal information, including borrowers’ income tax returns.

While working as an Asset Servicing Technician for FDIC, she disclosed confidential information from the FDIC, as well as the identity and amount of income of a person with outstanding loans at Columbian. She also unlawfully disclosed the borrower’s tax return.

“This indictment demonstrates the commitment of the United States Attorneys Office and the FDIC Office of Inspector General to protect the integrity of banking system information,” said Jon T. Rymer, FDIC Inspector General. “The indictment sends an important message to those who would attempt to unlawfully disclose confidential banking information and that such disclosures will not be tolerated and violators will be prosecuted.”

If convicted, Wootton faces a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a fine up to $250,000. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Secret Service investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Rask is prosecuting.

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