A disgraced and once-imprisoned former judge is suing a relative and the Wynne bank she works for, claiming that she illegally accessed his accounts.
Former District Court Judge Otto Joseph Boeckmann Jr., who served time in federal prison for dismissing cases in exchange for sexually related conduct, has sued his sister-in-law, Pamela “Renee” Boeckmann, and the Cross Bank of Wynne. His complaint alleges says she invaded his privacy by looking at accounts in order to feed information to her son, Tyler Boeckmann, to use in a suit against the ex-judge and the Joseph Boeckmann Revocable Living Trust.
Joseph Boeckmann’s co-plaintiff in the account-access suit is Three Boeckmann Rental LLC, which owns rental properties in Cross County.
The former judge’s December lawsuit alleges that Renee Boeckmann took a job as a loan officer and branch manager of Cross County Bank, now known as Cross Bank of Wynne, to “obtain information about plaintiffs’ deposit accounts” in hopes of using the information “to assist her son Tyler in his efforts to extract money from JB and the Trust.” The complaint accuses the bank of negligence in allowing Renee Boeckmann to do it.
Tyler Boeckmann’s lawsuit has been placed under seal by a judge, but it is pending and is seeking “substantial monetary damages,” according to the Joseph Boeckmann suit.
Before joining Cross Bank, Renee Boeckmann worked at Partners Bank of Helena. She changed jobs around August 2020 with the intent of gathering data to aid her son’s suit, Joseph Boeckmann’s suit claims.
“Within mere days after being hired by the Bank,” it says, Renee Boeckmann had access to the accounts “without authorization and without legitimate purpose.” Renee Boeckmann then shared that information with her son and “other third parties,” the complaint says.
Telephoned at the bank for comment on the suit, Renee Boeckmann declined to discuss it and hung up on a reporter from Arkansas Business.
David Dowd, president and CEO of Cross Bank, didn’t return a call.
On April 18, 2022, Renee testified in a deposition for Tyler’s lawsuit that she had never accessed plaintiffs’ banking records, according to the former judge’s lawsuit. “I have not accessed or gone into any of those accounts,” Renee Boeckmann said, according to a page of the transcript that was attached as an exhibit in Joseph Boeckmann’s lawsuit.
But Joseph Boeckmann’s attorneys received internal bank records as a result of a January 2022 subpoena that allegedly shows she accessed the plaintiffs’ accounts on Aug. 19, 2020. That record is attached as an exhibit.
The suit also accused her of perjury.
“Renee knew or should have known that plaintiffs’ private and confidential bank account information was in fact private,” the lawsuit said.
The plaintiffs also said the bank has a duty to protect the privacy and confidentiality of their account information. The bank also had a duty to have “sufficient policies and protocols in place to prohibit unauthorized and unlawful access to customer account information, including unauthorized access by the Bank’s own employees.”
The plaintiffs are represented by Roger McNeil and Ryan Wilson of the Womack Phelps Puryear Mayfield & McNeil firm in Jonesboro.
The suit is the latest tangle between Joseph Boeckmann and his nephew.
In 2019, Joseph Boeckmann accused Tyler of taking nearly $2,800 from him and the trust’s bank account between August 2016 and March 2017. Tyler pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of theft of property and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. He was placed on unsupervised probation for a year.
Meanwhile, Joseph Boeckmann’s crimes made headlines. As a district judge for the First Judicial Circuit of Arkansas, he used his position to dismiss traffic tickets and misdemeanors for young men in exchange for taking photos of them in compromising positions between 2009 and 2015. Joseph Boeckmann pleaded guilty to wire fraud and witness tampering and was sentenced in 2018 to five years in federal prison. Boeckmann also surrendered his law license.
He was released from federal prison on June 17, 2021.