Monday, June 04, 2007

South Financial Subpoenas Yahoo Account Info

Greenville-based South Financial Group, which is being sued by its former chief of security, has apparently subpoenaed Yahoo for information about people who commented on a financial message board about the case.

One poster on the message board revealed on Saturday morning that he had received notice of the subpoena from Yahoo. Others confirmed they had received a similar notice from the company, whch is the parent of Carolina First Bank:
We are writing to inform you that Yahoo! has been served with a subpoena requiring disclosure of information related to your user account at Yahoo!

The subpoena was issued in an action entitled:
Ben D. Floyd v. Mack I. Whittle, Jr., et al.
pending in:
Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara, Case No. 107CV-086642
The subpoena, dated May 24, 2007, requires that Yahoo! produce documents related to your Yahoo! account. Please be aware that your communications with Yahoo! may also be discoverable.

The attorney for the subpoenaing party, The South Financial Group, is
Gregory C. Cheng, Esquire
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
633 West Fifth Street, 53rd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071
213-239-9800 (p)
213-239-9045 (f)
Please be advised that Yahoo! will respond to the subpoena 15 days from the date of this notice, unless we have notice that a motion to quash the subpoena (or other legally appropriate challenge to the subpoena) has been filed, or the matter has been otherwise resolved.
You may wish to consult an attorney to advise you about the foregoing.
Please contact the subpoenaing party to obtain a copy of the subpoena. If you wish to contact Yahoo! regarding this matter, please direct your correspondence to
Cheng, reached at his office on Monday, said, "I can't really talk about it" and would not provide any details.

None of those on the Yahoo board use their real names on their posts, and there was no way to contact them. One speculated, however, that their information was being subpoenaed because they participated in a discussion about the original lawsuit -- a discussion that at times became hostile toward the company's executives.

The original reports were on a lawsuit filed in March in Richland County, S.C., by former security chief Ben Floyd, who alleges bank security equipment was put in South Financial CEO Mack Whttle's home.

This latest lawsuit was filed May 25 in Santa Clara County (Calif.) Superior Court. The online site does not provide full-text access to the complaint.

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