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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Ashley Madison story is not going away; Alabama list contains numerous prominent professionals, so the story is just heating up here at Legal Schnauzer


A Facebook friend recently wrote the following: "Anyone notice how the Ashley Madison thing just went away?"

My FB friend, it turns out, was a bit premature. I can't speak for other journalists who have reported on the hack of data from the extramarital-affair Web site, but the Ashley Madison story is just heating up here at Legal Schnauzer.

We already have reported on two prominent Alabamians--Bradley Arant lawyer Rob Campbell (son-in-law of former Governor Bob Riley) and al.com journalist Charles J. Dean--who held Ashley Madison accounts in apparent efforts to cheat on their spouses. But those are just the opening acts--the Ed Sheeran before the Rolling Stones, you might say--for the reports that are to come.

The Ashley Madison story is challenging to report for several reasons. One, the amount of data is massive, and sorting through it is labor intensive and time consuming. I have data from four states--Alabama, Missouri, Louisiana, and Mississippi. We are working on information for Florida and Georgia.

How big an undertaking is this? Well consider the data from Alabama: Our sources say there are roughly 8,000 paid Ashley Madison users in Alabama, and those are the names we've seen so far at various Web sites. But there are about 220,000 total AM users in Alabama. That means we only know the IDs of a tiny fraction of users. The other users either access the site for free--they can search, but can't chat, swap photos, and use other features--or they obtained some kind of special debit card in an effort to hide their identity, which I'm told can be ascertained anyway. The scope of participation in this is way bigger than many of us knew at the outset.

The number of paid users in Florida, for example, is about 50,000.

A second challenge, for me, came when Missouri deputies conducted an unlawful eviction at the apartment where my wife and I were living and broke my wife's arm so severely that it required surgery. She's only been out of the hospital a few days and is nowhere near a full recovery, which likely will take two or three months, at least.

Bradley Arant's Rob Campbell:
Lawyer outed on Ashley Madison
That has slowed the Ashley Madison story, but it has not gone away. In fact, it's about to get red hot.

Focusing primarily on the Birmingham Metro area, I've found an extraordinary number of high-level professionals--CEOs, CFOs, lawyers, doctors, bankers, engineers, wealth managers, architects, designers . . . the list goes on.

Here are just a few of the companies and entities with executives who have Ashley Madison accounts--HealthSouth, Sterne Agee, Hoar Construction, Cadence Bank, EBSCO, Western Steel, UAB, Royal Cup, Southern Company, Royal Automotive, Liberty National, Wells Fargo, Golden Flake, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Orkin, BBVA Compass, Skyline Steel, Daimler, The Club, Lakeshore Foundation, Regions Bank, Command Alkon . . . and many more. That doesn't include all the law firms, large and small, that are represented on the list.

And I'm developing a similar list for Missouri.

Is the Ashley Madison story going away? Not by a long shot.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to find out who you've outed at some of these companies. It's about time Alabamians learned that their corporate community, to a great extent, is a sleaze-o-rama.

Thad said...

Hah, I see HealthSouth is on the list. I guess they can't blame this one on Scrushy, although they will probably try.

legalschnauzer said...

Would love to see someone get nailed at Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Those pricks have been fleecing Alabamians for years.

Chuckles said...

That sound you hear is sphincters tightening in boardrooms around Alabama.

Anonymous said...

Oh, so you have Missouri data for Ashley Madison. Given what the SOBs up there did to your wife, I hope you take some of them to town.

Anonymous said...

I would wager a strong chance that a number of violent cops and sheriffs from Alabama and Missouri also turn up.

Forgive said...

What you are doing is shameful. Purposefully looking for private citizens, who did not consent to the release of this information, whose presence on the list has nothing to do with their work life, whose families would be publically humiliated if you 'out them' is not journalism. It is Internet vigilantism and shaming at its worst. Judge jury and executioner. Just because someone does not like a company does not give you or them the right to try and humiliate people who work there. Please rethink what you are doing, find some forgiveness in your heart and think about the pain and suffering already happening in homes around this country. Don't make this worse as people try to make amends and heal. Thank you

nationof gandhis said...

It's time for the witness protection program. God bless you for your courage man.

Anonymous said...

The reason it has gone away is because enough evidence has come out for people to understand that being on the list doesn't necessarily mean anything. I am afraid you must be behind on that realization.

Looking forward to seeing the results of your "journalism" as it plays out in court over the coming years!! Your mother and your journalism professors must be proud of what you have become!!

Anonymous said...

883 ZEB LITTLE,536,STHRNGENT47@YAHOO.COM,409 1st Avenue SW, Cullman, 35055

Anonymous said...

643 PAUL M HAMRICK, 607, NANOPOD@GMAIL.COM, PO Box 947, Montgomery, 36101

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the guy who works for Revenue Discovery Systems. Calls himself "The Bama Tax Man."

Anonymous said...

Joe L. Reed's son:

493 JOE REED, 654.87, JOEMREED@WOWWAY.NET, 9132 castle pines circle, Montgomery, 36117

Anonymous said...

2239 TOM LAYFIELD, 310, TCLLSYES@YAHOO.COM, 3627 Southview Ave, Montgomery, 36111

legalschnauzer said...

Forgive, I could not disagree with you more. In their professional roles, these people use public resources. Many of them handle large amounts of money and have fiduciary relationships with clients. Ashley Madison is not a dating site--it is a site set up to promote extramarital affairs. to facilitate either violation of your own marital relationship or someone else's marital relationship or both. It goes directly to the character of people who have made huge profits from public endeavors. A final point: I'm not a judge, a jury or an executioner. I'm a journalist who provides information about matters of public interest. Readers can make their own decisions about what this data means.

legalschnauzer said...

It doesn't mean anything, 7:39? You apparently have been out to lunch.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/08/26/6-cases-where-the-ashley-madison-leak-has-ensnared-political-and-public-officials/


http://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2015/09/council_president_will_finish.html

legalschnauzer said...

Tom Layfield is with the Alabama Road Builders Assocation, formerly with Alabama Bankers Association? Sounds like a major Business Council of Alabama guy.


http://www.alrba.org/2013/08/tom-layfield-new-executive-director/

Anonymous said...

tread lightly sir...i posted a few names on a blog of mine...i've been threatened with legal action, stalked constantly since, phone calls, packages sent to my HOME address, very scary...never underestimate the craziness of a mob of angry men with nothing to lose...especially those with disposable income!

Anonymous said...

Let me ask you a question. A friend of mine appeared on the list through no fault of his own. His cc info was stolen during the Home Depot hack and suddenly numerous false charges appeared. He saw charges from Avid Life (along with hundreds of dollars from other stuff) but thought nothing of it when his bank refunded all the fraud charges. Now his name is snared in this because the CC accounts determined the name/address in the records. How are you not serving as judge jury and executioner when you implicate an innocent man? You simply don't know the backstory behind EVERY story to say ALL are guilty...which is what this will do if you publish. Stick to your reporting on political issues in the state...there is plenty there...and don't go on witch hunts when some people simply aren't witches!

Anonymous said...

No one really cares about this story except a few tabloid followers. these are pricate citizens a private matter between a husband/wife. Maybe a public official who preaches against this type thing is newsworthy. All else not even close. IMO and 99.99% of America's too.

legalschnauzer said...

Glad to see you know what 99.99 percent of Americans think about this subject, @9:01. That's quite a talent you have for discerning the thoughts of others, even when your claims don't match reality. If this subject is of no interest to anyone other than "tabloid followers," why are you reading a post about it?

legalschnauzer said...

A reply to your question, @3:28--In both cases where I've reported on an Ashley Madison user, I contacted the individuals and gave them an opportunity to comment, explain, answer questions etc. Neither bothered to respond. If either had been the victim of an incident such as you describe, they could have explained that to me, and I would not have written a story--or I would have written a story to show how innocent people can show up on the AM list. Also, the available data is about more than just names on a list. It also shows account activity, chat content, photos, etc. That information is available in huge files, much bigger than the original files that just listed names. One reason the story has dropped from the radar somewhat is that it takes time to reach the specifics on individual accounts. For someone such as you describe, there should be no activity on his account, so there is no story there. Again, I'm not a judge, jury, or executioner. There are a lot of steps that go into reporting on a story like this, steps that you perhaps have not been aware of, to help ensure accuracy.

Anonymous said...

I'm the 3:28 person. Thanks for reply. As follow up there would have been activity on the Ashley Madison account associated was his identity theft as the person who stole his account was very active for a few days before he was caught and the account was suspended. Just another wrinkle where you need to be careful. And, I hope you will continue to reach out to future individuals that you may expose to allow them to answer questions and not just publish a "list" of victims to understand the backstory of each incident. If they are as public as you indicate, there should be multiple ways to reach them beside the email account on the AM account which is probably fake and no longer monitored. Be careful with reputations of innocent victims in all this.

Anonymous said...

Will it be OK when someone else commits suicide because YOU outed them? Explain that to their children.

"Hey, I found your Dad's name on the Ashley Madison list - and so if he kills himself, well, he shouldn't have done it in the first place!"

Seriously, think about it.

legalschnauzer said...

First, I don't want anyone to commit suicide, and I don't foresee anyone committing suicide because of my reporting. But in the unlikely event that does happen, it won't be because I outed anyone. It will be because (a) The person signed up for an activity that, if he had a functioning moral compass, he should not have signed up for; (b) The hacking group found the Ashley Madison data and released it to the public via a location on the dark Web. The Alabama information has been publicly available for quite some time.

For any family that winds up affected by this, it will be their duty to explain it to their children. That's not my job.

By your standard, Woodward and Bernstein never would have broken Watergate out of concern that Richard Nixon and his henchmen might have killed themselves. The Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky story never would have been reported out of concern that one or the other might commit suicide. Have any conservatives been concerned that Don Siegelman or Richard Scrushy might kill themselves over being wrongfully sent to federal prison? I haven't heard a peep.

I would encourage you to take your own advice and "Seriously, think about it." Your premise is way off target and makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

You know what else Alabama has in abundance, in addition to Ashley Madison email accounts? Lawyers.

Here's another "Woodward/Bernstein" wannabe below who also thought he was doing "real journalism."

99.9% of educated people have dropped the Ann-Putnam attitude as it's become clear this site was nothing more than a fancy "Letters to Penthouse" blog.

http://www.adulterysearch.com/