He Gave Car Salesman His Phone. Now He's Suing for $1M

Texas couple says worker at dealership stole nude photos
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2016 12:25 PM CST
Updated Dec 11, 2016 3:44 PM CST
Toyota Salesman Stole Customers' Nude Photos: Lawsuit
A Toyota dealership sign is shown.   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

Tim and Claire Gautreaux, a Texas pastor and his wife, got far more than they bargained for when they went to a Grapevine Toyota dealership in January 2015 to buy a new car. According to a lawsuit seeking more than $1 million in damages that the couple filed against Texas Toyota of Grapevine and Toyota Motor North America, Tim Gautreaux, 29, handed over his phone to the salesman because he had his application for pre-approved financing saved on an app. The salesman gave the phone to his manager, 44-year-old Matthew Luke Thomas—and Thomas allegedly stole nude photos of Claire Gautreaux, 27, off the phone, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. The phone was out of sight for just five minutes, per CBS DFW.

When Tim Gautreaux got his phone back, he opened it to see a year-old photograph of Claire "in a compromising stage of undress," per the lawsuit. He then opened an app that saves deleted emails, and saw that an email with financial info had been sent to Thomas—but two other emails, which included photos of his wife getting in and out of the bath, had been sent to a swingers' website. "These actions have caused the Gautreauxs to suffer humiliation and mental anguish, particularly because they do not know who has seen these photographs or may see them in the future," said one of their lawyers, Gloria Allred, per the Dallas News. Thomas also has been criminally charged with misdemeanor computer security breach. (A crazy sex tape blackmail scandal started at a Texas church.)

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