Lawsuit: Rivers Casino employees snooped on texts, email, bank info

August 17, 2018

Customers at Rivers Casino on Pittsburgh's North Shore, shown here Tuesday, June 30, 2015, play on the gaming floor. Year-over-year growth that saw Pennsylvania rocket up the list of the nation's most profitable casino industries has come to an end. For the fourth consecutive year, casino gambling revenues will come in around $3.1 billion — still good enough to rank the state No. 2 in the country,al though that could change as New York builds new casinos over the next few years.

Employees at Rivers Casino zoomed in on the cell phones of two women on the casino floor, capturing text messages, emails and bank account information and sending it to one woman’s ex-husband and his attorney, lawsuits filed last week alleged.

The dual lawsuits, filed in the Court of Common Pleas by Julie Capone and Hayley Clerici, targeted the company that owns the casino, three unnamed employees, attorney Dennis McCurdy, and Clerici’s ex-husband, Allegheny County police homicide detective Scott Scherer.

The three unnamed employees are alleged to have worked with or supervised the casino’s surveillance and security system and illegally turned over the footage of Clerici and Capone.

The lawsuits alleged that the casino violated the state’s wiretap law by zooming in on security footage to read their text messages, emails and, in Clerici’s case, her bank account information when she accessed her mobile-banking app and when she used a casino ATM.

The court filing noted that McCurdy represented Scherer in a custody dispute with Clerici.

According to the lawsuit, McCurdy subpoenaed security footage of Clerici and “any associates” - in this case, Capone -- in the casino from Sept. 21 and 22, specifically close-up footage which allegedly showed the private text messages and emails.

A spokesman for the casino said Rivers management declined to comment on pending litigation. Neither McCurdy nor Scherer could be immediately reached for comment.

The lawsuit argued that the women had a reasonable expectation of privacy, particularly regarding personal text messages and emails, which were sent privately to specific people and intended only for those individuals.

Clerici alleged that McCurdy shared the text, email and banking information with her ex-husband, who in turn “intentionally disclosed some or all of those messages/emails/personal financial information,” according to the lawsuit.

The suit alleged the casino, employees, McCurdy and Scherer violated the state wiretap law by intercepting and then disclosing the private texts and emails. All the defendants were also charged with invasion of privacy.

The lawsuit accused Scherer of intentionally inflicting emotional distress, alleging the texts and emails involved “private, sensitive matters,” including information regarding personal relationships and personal finances. Scherer’s “extreme and outrageous” conduct was meant to harass and embarrass the women, according to the suit.

Both women are asking for damages in excess of $35,000, as well as a jury trial.

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