A pair of gamblers have accused the Rivers Casino in Pennsylvania of violating wiretapping laws when it snooped on their text messages, emails and financial information while they were at the casino gambling last fall, according to a lawsuit filed last month.
The gamblers—Julie Capone and Hayley Clerici—alleged that Rivers Casino, through its employees, used the property’s security video system to “zoom” in on their mobile devices and read their private information. The casino allegedly recorded and saved images of their private texts and emails and then handed them over to a person with a vendetta against Clerici.
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Slot games pop up. “Rivers Casino’s unlawful, zoom surveillance and zoom recording of [plaintiffs’] text messages, email communications and/or personal financial information were not only intentional but were also so outrageous as to constitute willful, wanton and reckless conduct, as well as complete disregard of [plaintiffs’] rights and privacy,” the suit said.
They are seeking at least $35,000 in damages for each alleged violation of the law.
The suit claims that the casino gave the images and information to a local attorney who represented Clerici’s former husband in a custody dispute in Butler County Family Court. The ex-husband is local police officer Scott Scherer. Dennis McCurdy was named as his attorney.
McCurdy is accused of unlawfully serving a subpoena to the casino to obtain its surveillance images of the women and their mobile devices. The suit claims that Rivers Casino should have been aware it was a sham subpoena under Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure.
The suit alleged that Detective Scherer violated the Wiretap Act by illegally obtaining the text messages and emails and then disclosing them to “multiple persons.” The casino “likely” provided the requested surveillance of the women on a thumb drive, the suit claimed.
According to the suit’s allegations, the text messages the casino took photos of provided McCurdy and Scherer with information of Clerici’s “personal relationships” and “personal spending habits.”
The suit doesn’t say how or if the information was used in Butler County Family Court. The suit accused Detective Scherer of seeking to inflict embarrassment and “emotional distress.”
An unnamed Rivers Casino security supervisor who allegedly authorized the wiretapping violations was also mentioned in the suit. The litigation said the name of that individual will be made public through the discovery process.
Rivers Casino is one of 12 casinos licensed for gambling by the state.