Go Mortgage has sued former employee Katie Chikonde, alleging “corporate sabotage” and financial losses amounting to millions. The complaint, filed in Ohio, accuses Chikonde of abruptly resigning on July 10, 2022, after engaging in misconduct, including misusing confidential information and breaching her employment contract.
The complaint reveals that Chikonde, as the director of capital markets, had full access to sensitive company data, including pricing, consumer information, and loan analysis. She also served as a key intermediary with institutional lenders, investors, and securitization counterparts, managing warehouse lines, pricing, hedging, and loan sales.
Chikonde’s resignation was followed by her contacting Go Mortgage’s lenders and investors, intending to defame the company and its officers. The complaint accuses her of spreading false information, including claims about the company’s capital markets department being without proper leadership.
The lawsuit claims that Chikonde changed passwords and manipulated company configurations with its counterparties. Specifically, she introduced false information and erroneous settings into Go Mortgage’s Optimal Blue platform, which she was the sole authorized administrative user of. The complaint alleges that these actions were taken to cause economic damage and chaos after her departure.
Before joining Go Mortgage, Chikonde spent more than five years at Optimal Blue, a unit of Black Knight Inc. The complaint accuses her of introducing false information and inaccurate settings to Go Mortgage within the Fannie Mae portal and deleting essential files from the company’s cloud storage.
The complaint accuses Chikonde of deliberately disrupting Go Mortgage’s business operations with malicious intent, causing financial harm to the company. As a result of her actions, Fannie Mae temporarily suspended Go Mortgage’s seller/service number, leading to the company’s inability to deliver loans.
Chikonde’s actions led other counterparties to terminate or suspend business with Go Mortgage, causing the company to explain its ability to continue operations. Additionally, her conduct resulted in the company experiencing severe financial losses, as she introduced false information that impacted Go Mortgage’s financial risk management.
Chikonde’s actions were only discovered in December 2022, five months after her resignation, during which Go Mortgage incurred millions of dollars in financial losses.
The complaint seeks compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $300,000, without providing a specific total for the financial loss.
The complaint accuses Chikonde of violating federal and state laws, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Defend Trade Secrets Act and Wisconsin Trade Secrets Act. It also alleges breach of contract, tortious interference with a business relationship, and breach of duty of good faith and loyalty. The lawsuit seeks a jury trial, with the date yet to be determined.