A former employee alleged that an executive at Atlanta-based mortgage lender Equity Prime Mortgage (EPM) sexually assaulted her, and executives fostered a culture of widespread sexual harassment at the firm.
Former mortgage loan processor Tiar McCart claims, in a suit filed in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Georgia in October, that during her employment at EPM, executives — including CEO Eddy Perez — and other employees submitted her to sexual comments, touching, inappropriate images, and solicitations. The lawsuit claims Perez, on one occasion, asked McCart’s work acquaintance if “he’d hit that,” referring to having sex with McCart.
Lawyers for EPM, in a response filed with the court Dec. 23, denied any wrongdoing. According to their response, EPM did not “intentionally nor willfully [violate the] Plaintiff’s rights in any manner.”
Several members of the executive team engaged in inappropriate behavior while she was employed by EPM, from March 2020 to March 2021, McCart’s lawsuit claims.
McCart alleged Mark Moloughney, EPM’s chief technology officer, tried to sexually violate her after a work-related event. The lawsuit states that, after Moloughney apologized for the alleged assault, he “made a direct threat” to McCart’s continued employment at EPM, and directed her to tell no one of the incident.
The lawsuit claims that McCart subsequently filed a report with the company’s human resources. After investigating, EPM allegedly concluded the incident was “unrelated to work.”
Two days later, the company terminated McCart for “poor performance,” the lawsuit alleged. McCart called the termination “blatant retaliation” for reporting Moloughney’s behavior, according to court filings.
In its response, EPM claimed that whether Moloughney engaged in any unlawful conduct, “which he did not, such conduct was outside the scope and course of his employment and was not in furtherance of Defendant EPM’s business.”
EPM did not respond to requests for comment.
McCart also alleged the company’s COO, Jason Callan, repeatedly referred to her as “my bitch,” and made lists of female co-workers he would have sex with.
But the incidents of sexual harassment extended well beyond the executive team, the lawsuit claims. McCart accused upper management at the company of demeaning her by catcalling and making lewd written comments.
On repeated occasions, McCart claims co-workers and members of the management made unwelcome comments about her appearance. She also alleges that management circulated an email that discussed the plaintiffs body. A male coworker pretended to unzip his pants during a work videoconference, the lawsuit alleges, and still works at the lender.
On one occasion, the lawsuit claims, McCart arrived at her desk to find it “covered with penis-shaped confetti.”
Founded in 2008, EPM is licensed in 49 states and provides an array of lending products including conventional mortgages, those insured by the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, reverse mortgages, and United States Department of Agriculture loans. Per LinkedIn estimates, the company has over 700 employees.
This lawsuit is the latest in a string of similar suits filed this year, accusing lenders of allowing a toxic workplace culture and not taking steps to prevent sexual harassment.
McCart seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, equitable relief, damages, and attorney’s fees and costs.