Wells Fargo, which says one of its outside lawyers mistakenly misdirected a staggering 1.4 gigabytes of sensitive information about tens of thousands of its wealthy clients, wants the information returned.
The bank has asked judges in New York and New Jersey to require that the attorneys representing a former employee return the information they received in error from Angela Turiano, an attorney at Bressler Amery Ross, who represents the bank in the case.
The electronic files contain client names, Social Security numbers, account balances and other sensitive information.
According to Reuters and The New York Times, which reported the data breach last week, the bank's attorney sent the data to lawyers for former Wells Fargo employee Gary Sinderbrand in response to a New Jersey court case involving a dispute between Mr. Sinderbrand and his brother, also a former Wells Fargo employee.
Gary Sinderbrand, who is involved in a parallel lawsuit against his brother and Wells Fargo in New York state court, has not shared the information publicly.
New York and New Jersey have ethics rules that require lawyers to notify the other party if they receive information that "was inadvertently sent," Reuters said. In a letter to New York Supreme Court Judge Charles Ramos, Mr. Sinderbrand's New York attorney, Aaron Zeisler, wrote that he notified Ms. Turiano on July 20 about the information, but that Wells Fargo's attorneys have not yet described which documents they want returned.
The documents and spreadsheets containing client information were originally provided to Aaron Miller, Mr. Sinderbrand's lawyer in the New Jersey case, who later shared knowledge of what the documents contained with Mr. Zeisler.