A seemingly garden-variety contract case is yielding some interesting discovery. May Lou McFate is a gun-control activist who has been a major figure on various gun-control organizations and boards. She is now accused being a paid spy for the National Rifle Association after an investigation by Mother Jones magazine.
McFate is a 62-year-old former flight attendant and sex counselor. In the 1980s, she allegedly infiltrated an animal-rights group at the request of U.S. Surgical. She is accused of then going to work for the NRA and not only serving on boards but meeting with members of Congress.
This extraordinary tale emerged from a lawsuit against management of a Maryland security firm, Beckett Brown International. The firm, now defunct, was accused of fraud and discovery revealed that McFate (who also goes by her married name: Mary Lou Sapone) worked as a subcontractor for Beckett Brown. Records show that she was billing the firm’s client NRA for a $4,500-a-month retainer in 1999. It also appears that her daughter-in-law, Montgomery Sapone, also was hired by Beckett Brown and then worked as an intern at the Brady Campaign headquarters in 2003.
Reporters will often go undercover with businesses as employees or customers. As shown with the Food Lion case, this can lead to tort liability. Yet, it remains a common practice, click here. There are a variety of possible civil charges that can be brought from trespass to privacy violations to contractual violations. Trespass can also be charged as a crime in some cases.
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