A Florida man serving ten years in prison for fraud and theft is now suing Verizon Wireless, claiming the company was negligent by not preventing him from using the company’s wireless service and products to commit his his latest identity theft.
The handwritten complaint [PDF] was filed in a Florida federal court shortly before the new year by convicted felon James L. Kelly, who alleges that Verizon places more importance on sales than on protecting consumers (from people like him).
According to the suit, Kelly went into a Verizon store in May 2015, and used his actual photo ID to commit identity theft on an account belonging to a James R. Kelly, who also lived in Florida, but hours away from the address listed on James L. Kelly’s ID.
Kelly contends that the Verizon employee “failed to take a course of action that a reasonably minded person would do when encountering the obvious discrepancy of information… failed to notify his supervisors,” and allegedly failed to verify the account by texting or emailing a PIN to James R. Kelly’s existing Verizon device.
The plaintiff in this lawsuit was ultimately convicted of grand theft and ID fraud, and sentenced to ten years in a Florida prison. You might say it’s because he’s a bad person — according to WFTV in Orlando has been convicted more than three dozen times since 1985 — but he claims his sentence resulted from the “alleged negligence of the defendants.”
Kelly is seeking $72 million in damages (plus attorneys fees, even though he’s representing himself) from Verizon.