A Texas-based petroleum company with a chain of c-stores was charged with violating consumer information laws after authorities discovered a slew of personal consumer data had been tossed into a trash bin at the company’s Texas headquarters, according to court documents and news station KPRC 2.
Petroleum Wholesale, operator of Sunmart Travel Centers and Convenience Stores in 10 states, was charged with violating the 2005 Identity Theft Enforcement and Protection Act, the news station said.
Investigators said the company dumped hundreds of records in a publicly accessible trash container outside its former headquarters.
According to court documents, the records included hundreds of receipts displaying sensitive personal information such as customer names, full credit or debit numbers, expiration dates, as well as returned checks and information forms containing bank routing numbers, drivers’ license numbers, social security numbers and dates of birth.
Other items that were improperly disposed of included employee records, tax exemption certificates, invoice records, employee performance reviews, employee shift records, employee disciplinary records, store evaluations, subway inventories, internal emails and the company’s accounting records and more.
The consumer protection act requires companies to safeguard and properly destroy records containing sensitive information. The company could be fined up to $500 per abandoned record, KPRC 2 reported.