updated 9/30/2011 4:45:11 PM ET 2011-09-30T20:45:11

An elite New York City real estate firm, Bond New York, has been accused of hacking into a competitor's computer system and stealing exclusive listing information.

A.C. Lawrence & Co. filed a suit in New York Civil Supreme Court on Sept. 20 alleging that Bond had been hacking into its servers since February in an effort to steal clients, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The lawsuit states that "in or about February 2011, Defendants and other individuals working with Defendants began to hack into the Listing System in order to immediately convert for their own use the proprietary property rental and sales listings obtained by the Plaintiff."

According to the New York real estate magazine The Real Deal, A.C. Lawrence lost at least $100,000 in commissions as a result of the hacking. The company is seeking more than $5 million in damages, and alleges that Bond's illegal actions were common knowledge among its employees.

"My people have the smoking gun," Philip Greenberg, A.C. Lawrence's attorney, told the Journal in reference to several former Bond employees whom he said were cooperating with the firm.

The Real Deal said the animosity between the two firms began when A.C. Lawrence took over the 45th Street office of the now-defunct brokerage house Century 21 NY Metro, and made its former head, Marc Lewis, the new chairman of A.C. Lawrence. Many of the agents scooped up in the deal stayed with A.C. Lawrence, while others moved to Bond, which caused friction, The Real Deal wrote.

In a statement to the Journal, a Bond company spokesman called the lawsuit a "frivolous and desperate suit by a competitor."

Bond New York did not return a call by SecurityNewsDaily for comment.

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