MCI inmate sues Home Federal

July 25, 1997


Staff Writer

A prison inmate has filed a $2 million lawsuit that accuses Home Federal Savings Bank of breach of contract and aiding in the invasion of his privacy, according to Washington County Circuit Court records.

M. Abdullah El-Amin, a prisoner at the Maryland Correctional Institution south of Hagerstown, says in the suit that he opened a savings account at the bank last September.

In May of this year, according to the suit, El-Amin sent in a withdrawal slip instructing the bank to make three $100 money orders payable to him. Instead, the suit alleges, the bank sent three blank $100 money orders, which aroused the curiosity of correctional officials, according to the suit.


The prison launched an investigation of El-Amin, contending that he could have used the money orders to bribe guards to bring contraband into the facility, according to the suit.

When correctional investigators contacted the bank, bank officials gave copies of El-Amin's confidential financial records, the suit alleges. When El-Amin filed a Notice of Tort Claim against the bank, his account was closed in retaliation, according to allegations contained in the suit.

Richard W. Phoebus Sr., the bank's president and CEO, had no comment Thursday.

El-Amin's suit alleges that by sending the blank money orders, the bank was negligent since the instructions on the withdrawal slip were not followed.

The suit requests $250,000 for the alleged negligence and another $250,000 for alleged breach of contract.

The suit also requests $250,000 each for allegations of breach of confidentiality and aiding in the invasion of plaintiff's privacy.

In addition, the suit asks for $1 million in compensatory and punitive damages for alleged unlawful retaliation for filing Notice of Tort Claim.

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