Personal records from Houston attorney's office found in trash dumpster

July 15, 2008

By Jeremy Desel

Harris County Sheriff's deputies uncovered hundreds of people's personal financial files that had been discarded in a dumpster in northwest Houston on Monday. The records were mostly bankruptcy case files from a Houston attorney's office that found their way into a dumpster belonging to a Houston day care.

The discovery came in a trash bin in the 9100 block of Jones Road, with box after box of records including personal financial records, documents with Social Security numbers, people's medical files and more. When the sheriff's office first arrived, the responding deputies had no idea what to do with the records.

So, they called the law office from where the records had come from. 11 News called the law offices of William Weber as well.

Weber, who eventually arrived to pick up the discarded records, told both 11 News and the sheriff's office that it was .no big deal. that page after page of people's personal records were left in such a manner that they could have proven to be a identify thief's gold mine.

Still, at the insistence of the sheriff's office, Weber did arrive to pick the boxes up. The attorney said the records being left in that dumpster was a mistake made by his wife whom he asked to dispose of the records.

The sheriff's office is looking into the possibility laws were broken by throwing away the records in that dumpster, but were unsure if anything illegal happened. The day care told the deputies it didn't want to press charges for the illegal dumping of material in their dumpster.

As a matter of fact, there's a good possibility no laws were broken.

Weber spent several minutes loading the boxes into his car, but he also spent a lot of time avoiding the 11 News cameras as he picked up the discarded records. Eventually, he left the scene, leaving a few boxes behind when he was confronted by 11 News cameras.

In his rush to get away, a box was left on the trunk lid of his vehicle and some of the papers inside flew out as he sped off.

Monday's discovery came less than a few weeks after home owners in Conroe found many of their personal records left in the open of the garage of an unfinished house in their neighborhood.

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