Adams Wealth Management is pursuing a federal civil suit against former employees accused of computer fraud, “hacking,” and “plotting the demise” of the company and its managing director Steven Craig Adams.
According to a complaint filed with the United States District Court for the District of Utah, on May 25, both Ryan Bohm and Tanner Dance were terminated from their employment at the company after allegedly committing “fraud and other acts of dishonesty” while “unlawfully obtaining” information for their own gain in another business endeavor.
In January 2020, a civil case involving the same parties was filed with the 1st District Court in Cache County. But an order to classify the case as private was filed with the court in April 2020, leaving all documents in the case sealed from the public — including a counterclaim filed by the defendants’ attorneys nearly two months prior. On May 13, the district case was transferred out of Cache County to the 2nd District Court — those records are also sealed.
Jared Braithwaite, one of the attorneys representing Bohm and Dance, said he was currently unable to comment, but not because he didn’t want to.
“We would love to let the public know about this case. Given that the case is sealed, we just feel unable to do so,” Braithwaite said. “Man, do we want to tell someone.”
Once a response is filed to the federal complaint — a process Braithwaite estimated would take around a month — he said attorneys would be available to speak more freely about the case.
In the federal case, the plaintiffs allege Bohm and Dance “hacked” into an email archiving system — after another employee was “commanded” to share his login credentials to the system — and viewed employee emails. The “private, sensitive, and confidential information” in the archive, according to the complaint, was uploaded to a cloud-storage drive entitled “Em Tres Confiamos.”
“The main target of Bohm’s and Dance’s internal hacking was Adams,” the compliant states, “and their main intent was to gather information and documentation that they could use for their own financial gain in their new business venture.”
It’s alleged Bohm encrypted a company hard drive thwarting the efforts of forensic consultants to “decode the encryption key,” and Dance “destroyed” 173 files off his company computer. It’s also alleged Dance violated company policy by changing file retention settings on the company’s Slack account, while upgrading to a premium version to “impermissibly examine older messages.”
According to the complaint, a message from Dance references someone whose identity is unclear “changing loan documents and dates for the sketchy illegal loan.” Dance also allegedly wrote of scouring past messages to “gather dirt.”
“I’ll set it to auto delete after one month, after that point do not talk about anything damning in slack,” Dance allegedly wrote. “Thank you for playing.”
The plaintiffs are seeking no less than $100,000 in damages to be determined at trial and permanent injunctive relief against the defendants.