Lawyer throws personal documents in dumpster

Lawyer throws personal documents in dumpster

Attorney admits to tossing client’s documents in dumpster

St. Petersburg, Florida — A disturbing discovery was uncovered on Saturday in a Bay area dumpster. Pages of documents containing sensitive personal information was found.

Kim McMinch is a 10 News viewer who pointed out the issue at the St. Petersburg law office of W.G. Bostick where the dumpster is located, 5750 5th Ave. N.

“It’s just so disrespectful,” McMinch says.

She says she was just about to toss something into the dumpster when she saw things that left her speechless.

“People’s wills, people’s income – something from child protective services.”

The items with sensitive personal information on them were from Bill Bostick Jr.’s law office.

St. Pete lawyer throws personal documents in dumpster

“I cannot comprehend an attorney in this day and age taking these pieces of paper and throwing them in the dumpster,” she says.

Bostick practices marital, family and estate law and admits to tossing out the trash. He says he goes through it before it’s tossed and shreds everything with clients’ identifying information on it. But 10 News found a divorce document with children’s names and birthdays.

“That shouldn’t be in there in the first place. I don’t know how that got there. That’s going to be shredded,” Bostick says.

10 News tracked down the father of the children to get his take.

Dennis DeRenzo Jr. looked at a photo of the document and said, “That’s my daughter’s personal information – that’s my daughter, my son.”

DeRenzo says he’s concerned.

“My biggest complaint is that my children are susceptible to identity theft so their information could be out there and now they have the potential for the rest of their lives to have their identity stolen.”

Bostick says much of what was in the dumpster is public record. He says there were no tax documents or Social Security numbers and he says he retrieved the documents and called his clients. He’s offering Derenzo’s children identity theft protection, too.

10 News contacted the Florida Bar. Its rules do not address how discarded files are destroyed, but they do expect attorneys to follow federal law which encourages attorneys to shred sensitive documents.

Legal Shred 
11806 S US Hwy 41
Gibsonton, FL 33534