Fifth Third Bank addressing personal information breach

April 13, 2006


(Grand Rapids, April 13, 2006, 6:58 p.m.) 24 Hour News 8 wanted to know how a Fifth Third Bank employee could gain access to the personal information of female television personalities and nearly 1,000 other Fifth Third customers.

We asked Fifth Third spokesperson Peggy Janai what the bank is doing for customers whose identity may have been compromised. "At this point we are monitoring all of the accounts, and if we see anything that looks somewhat suspicious we will be contacting those customers," said Janai.

We wanted to know how 39-year-old Marco Munoz, a Fifth Third Bank employee located in Evansville, Indiana, could breach the identities of nearly 1,000 customers. "This man did work in our retail environment and he was working with customer information," explained Janai. "So he did have access to that."

Investigators from Michigan State Police say Munoz access focused on the identities of female television personalities banking with Fifth Third whom he would stalk using their personal information. The victims include 24 Hour News 8's Kristi Andersen and FOX 17's Rachel Calderon, as well as Jennifer McGilvray of FOX 7 in Evansville, Indiana.

Fifth Third Bank's corporate policy is to conduct extensive background checks on all of its employees, and provide company policy training each year.

24 Hour News 8 has received numerous phone calls and emails from viewers who also bank at Fifth Third. We asked Janai what the bank is doing to protect Social Security numbers and personal identification.

"First of all, I want to say that this is a very rare occurrence," she said. "Fifth Third Bank puts its employees through extensive training on policies and procedures, and the correct usage of customer information. If something were to happen, we do take immediate action. In this case, we have been working very closely with the police on this step by step."

In Kent County, Munoz faces two felony counts of attempting to defraud using personal information. If convicted, he could serve up to five years in prison on each count.

He is also charged with two misdemeanor counts of stalking and repeated harassment by making obscene phone calls. Each count carries a maximum of one year in prison.

Munoz faces a third charge of two counts of malicious use of telecommunications services, which is also a misdemeanor, that carries up to six months jail time.

His bond was set at $500,000 and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 27.

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