AG sues EZCORP over identity theft

Austin Business Journal
5/8/2007 – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is suing EZCORP Inc. over matters of identity theft.

The attorney general claims that EZCORP Inc. of Austin and its subsidiary, EZPAWN, have exposed customers to identity theft by failing to properly protect customer records.

“Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States,” Abbott says. “Texans expect their personal information to remain confidential.”

Joe Rotunda, EZCORP president and CEO, responded to the suit saying that the company has a number of identity protection policies and systems in place.

“EZCORP invested additional resources in technology and information security after Texas’ identity protection law was reformed in 2005,” Rotunda says. “However, even with our strong privacy policies and procedures, the issues cited by the attorney general appear to be the result of human error.”

“We are committed to working closely with the Office of the Attorney General on this issue and will continue to work hard to set the industry standard for customer safety, privacy and identity security,” he says.

The Office of the Attorney General alleges that several San Antonio EZPAWN stores dumped personal business records in trash bins behind the stores. The attorney general’s investigation found similar unsecure disposals happening at stores in Austin, Houston, Lubbock and in the Rio Grande Valley area.

The attorney general charges that EZPAWN is in violation of several business and consumer protection laws, including the 2005 Identity Theft Enforcement and Protection Act, which requires businesses uphold safeguards when disposing of sensitive client documents.

In recent weeks, the attorney general’s office has taken legal action against CVS pharmacy and RadioShack for identity theft issues.

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