Real Estate Agent Sued By Former Employer For Stealing Information

By Justin Moss

July 22, 2010 Updated Jul 5, 2007 at 7:19 PM EDT

Tom Sbarra says he thought his real estate secrets were safe.

Sbarra, and wife Deborah, own Century 21 Sbarra and Wells here in Johnson City.

In this lawsuit, they accuse a former employee of doing things that were improper, illegal and fraudulent.

They say real estate agent Kathy Lavelle-Tomko used her cell phone and home phone to access confidential phone messages at Sbarra and Wells' office.

Lavell-Tomko worked for Sbarra for 16 years before she was fired in 2004.

Since then, the lawsuit alleges she would "..listen to, steal, and then intentionally delete new private, confidential, business messages..."

The lawsuit says Sbarra and Wells only recently learned about it

The lawsuit details 2 and a half months earlier this year when it's alleged Lavelle-Tomko made 215 calls to Sbarra's office, listening to and deleting messages.

Lavelle-Tomko now works as a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker here in Endwell.

The lawsuit states she intended to use the information she got from Sbarra and Wells phone messages to develop her own business and that of Coldwell Banker.

Coldwell Banker had no comment.

The lawsuit calls Tomko's actions and conduct "...so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency..."

Sbarra is seeking a judgement against Lavelle-Tomko of 2 million dollars, plus other damages.

Lavelle-Tomko did not return several calls from Action News for comment.

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