Bank informs customers felon may have been given personal information

May 19, 2005

Associated Press

WESTBORO, Mass. -- Westborough Bank notified its customers this week that a former bank official may have given the Social Security numbers and account information of about 750 customers to a convicted felon.

Bank president Joseph F. MacDonough said in a letter to customers Monday that an unnamed former employee who ran an investment program at the bank from 1998 through 2001 may have given the information to Christos Kyriazis, who has been convicted of defrauding senior citizens in Florida.

Kyriazis, 41, who was never a bank employee, is also expected to plead guilty next week in federal court to defrauding an elderly Shrewsbury woman out of about $975,000, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

He never served prison time for the 2002 conviction in Florida, even though he jumped bail, a law enforcement official there said.

MacDonough said the bank doesn't know whether Kyriazis used the customers' information, and it was unclear why the former bank employee would have given him the information.

"We are erring on the side of caution," MacDonough told the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester. "The letter is a caution. We have no direct knowledge that any of our customers had their identities stolen."

The bank urged customers to be vigilant and report any suspicious account activity. It also encouraged customers to get a credit report.

After mailing the warning letter on Monday, the bank was inundated yesterday with calls and visits from angry customers.

Christine Kowal, of Northboro, said she was shocked and angry when she received one of the letters. She doesn't think any of her money was stolen, but is unsure whether Kyriazis or anyone else used her personal information.

"That is the part that is bone-chilling scary," she said.

MacDonough also met with Westboro Police Chief Alan R. Gordon, who said detectives will investigate the possible security breach.

main page ATTRITION feedback