A man reportedly followed an actual paper trail off of a public road in Plymouth where he found thousands of documents containing the personal information of hundreds of people, according to Fox Boston. The passerby discovered the massive pile of mortgage papers, dumped in a field that anyone could access.
“This is a loan application,” the man, who wished to remain anonymous, said to Fox at the paper heap.“Gives a phone number, social security number. (This) guy’s a police officer for the city of Boston. I got his social security number here,” he said.
The documents were linked to Attorney Michael Haney of Navigator Realty in Duxbury. Haney denied knowlege of the document pile when approached by Fox reporters on camera, telling them his documents were scanned into his business’s computer database.
Haney reportedly later told Fox that he moved his physical files to a horse farm in Plymouth last year, where they were “stacked on wooden pallets and covered with a tarp.” Fox reports the horse farm is owned by a woman who Haney claims owes him money, and that when she needed to make renovations at the home she moved the records to the field. Haney also said they were kept in tarp and moved to the field, but Fox Boston says they found them scattered and moldering.
Ater the investigation, the document pile was removed from the field and Haney told Fox he had all of the papers destroyed: They were burned in a pit and their ashes were buried. But hundreds of residents who bought property through Haney are now wondering if their personal information could have been obtained, as the records were out in the open for anyone to access.
Attorney General Martha Coakley also spoke with Fox and expressed concern. “We’d want to look at all the circumstances and what happened before they were burned,” she stated. “Obviously they’re destroyed now but certainly in between, we’d want to look at the history of this and make sure that no consumers actually had their information taken.”
Fox says the owner of the horse farm in Plymouth declined to speak with them and Haney told them he has no knowledge of anyone’s personal information being obtained.
Watch the full report here.Shannon McMahon can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on twitter @shanmcmahon_.