My father in law recently died. I have just found out that his girlfriend has been accessing a trustee account utilizing an old user ID and password. No funds were withdrawn, but the bank's cyber-security unit found that she was viewing statement activity on a daily basis for numerous months.

The bank has now suspended all online banking access to this account.

Question is, what is the legal position of father in-laws girlfriend in this. Isn’t this a federal crime?

  • I've edited your question to make it clearer. If I've got anything wrong then please edit accordingly. Commented Oct 9, 2020 at 15:10
  • I don't see any reason why not. usa.gov/report-crime#item-35907 Commented Oct 9, 2020 at 17:05
  • Did your father in law give her the credentials? How do you know it's actually "unauthorized: ?
    – Hilmar
    Commented Oct 9, 2020 at 21:12
  • She was helping him when he was alive, but when he passed away, the account closed and retitled as the family trust; banking protocol for some reason did not extend cancellation of old online access. In essence she
    – Claire
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 2:21

1 Answer 1


At the very least the girlfriend is in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act because she has accessed a computer without authorization and thereby obtained a financial record.

  • Is it clear the the authorization of the decedent (assuming it was given and not that the password wasn't on some "secret" Post-it) survive his death? Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 7:16
  • I can't see how it could. The account is a "trustee account". Presumably the decedent was a trustee, but even if he authorised his girlfriend during his life, his trusteeship and hence authorisation ended when he died. Also it was a bank computer, and the fine print in bank T&Cs says not to share your password, so it was unauthorised from that POV too. Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 9:48

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