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Wells Fargo Whistleblower Allegedly Fired For Reporting Foreign Exchange Violations

Wells Fargo Bank finds itself facing another whistleblower lawsuit, this time filed by the former head of the bank’s foreign exchange (FX) group who says the bank encouraged employees to “make false and misleading representations to customers, to engage in abusive sales practices, and to enrich themselves at the expense of clients.” According to The Mercury News, whistleblower Simon Fowles alleges he voiced complaints about the unlawful and unethical practices to managers at the San Francisco-based banking giant for years but that his concerns essentially fell on deaf ears. Mr. Fowles claims he warned high-level Wells Fargo executives about “significant ... Read More

Wells Fargo Refuses To Reinstate Whistleblower, Appeals to DOL

Wells Fargo is appealing the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) July 21 decision ordering the bank to reinstate a former bank manager who claimed she was fired after complaining that subordinate employees were opening deposit and credit card accounts without customers’ knowledge or consent. The banking giant’s appeal notice, filed with a Labor Department administrative law judge Aug. 8, calls into question its promises to clean up its act, especially when Claudia Ponce de Leon, the whistleblower in this case, followed proper protocol when voicing her concerns over the alleged misconduct and had a sterling work record. Wells Fargo has ... Read More

Feds Order Wells Fargo To Reinstate Fired Whistleblower

Federal authorities ordered Wells Fargo on July 21 to reinstate and compensate a whistleblower fired in 2011 after she called the bank’s ethics hotlines to report suspected fraud. Claudia Ponce de Leon, the former bank manager of a Wells Fargo unit in Pomona, California, lost her job after she reported at least three bankers working under her of opening unauthorized accounts for customers under her supervision. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not name Ms. Ponce de Leon in its announcement, but an April 2017 story in American Banker indicated that federal regulators were likely to order her ... Read More

Whistleblower: Wells Fargo Defrauded Mortgage Borrowers

A former Wells Fargo banker has filed a lawsuit against the banking giant, accusing it of firing him in retaliation for standing up against an alleged practice of defrauding borrowers by blaming them for delays in processing mortgage applications that were the bank’s fault, then hitting them with the resulting fees. According to the Los Angeles Times, Mauricio Alaniz, a former banker at a Wells Fargo Beverly Hills unit, alleges in his federal lawsuit that the bank’s mortgage-processing and underwriting division was understaffed, resulting in chronic delays that weren’t the borrowers’ fault. Borrowers applying for mortgages are typically locked into ... Read More

Wells Fargo May Have To Rehire a Second Whistleblower

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) alerted Wells Fargo Bank in December that it was likely to order the bank to reinstate a former bank manager it fired in 2011 after she called the company’s ethics hotlines to report suspected fraud. If reinstated, Claudia Ponce de Leon would be the second Wells Fargo whistleblower that the federal government has told the bank to rehire. Ms. Ponce de Leon was the bank manager of a Wells Fargo unit in Pomona, California, when she suspected bankers under her supervision were opening fake accounts for clients in an effort to meet sales ... Read More

Government orders Wells Fargo to reinstate whistleblower

The U.S. government has ordered Wells Fargo Bank to immediately reinstate a former bank manager who was fired after he reported suspected fraudulent activity at the bank. The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that the San Francisco bank, which has been implicated in a number of whistleblower claims in recent months, must rehire the manager and pay him back pay, compensatory damages, and legal expenses totaling $5.4 million. The manager, who had previously received positive job performance appraisals, told OSHA he was abruptly dismissed from his position at a Wells Fargo branch in the Los Angeles ... Read More

Whistleblower Retaliation Lawsuit names Wells Fargo VP As Defendant

The former chief executive of a banking trade group of asset-backed lenders is suing the group and Wells Fargo Bank, alleging he was fired in retaliation for voicing concerns over undisclosed conflicts of interest between the group’s auditing firm and group members. Robert Trojan, the former head of the Commercial Finance Association (CFA), which represents banks that make loans to companies backed by assets and accounts receivables, says he found that the CFA’s auditor, Freed Maxick, had undisclosed business relationships with the group’ members and directors and thus wasn’t fully independent. An auditor’s lack of independence effectively meant that the ... Read More

SCOTUS Revives Whistleblower Case Against Wells Fargo In Light of Escobar Ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, Feb. 21 revived a long-running whistleblower lawsuit against Wells Fargo by remanding it to the U.S. Second Circuit Appeals Court, which last year affirmed a lower court’s ruling dismissing the case. The case was filed by Robert Kraus and Paul Bishop, former officials of two banks Wells Fargo acquired. Mr. Kraus and Mr. Bishop brought the complaint in 2011 under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which allows private parties to sue on behalf of the government in cases of suspected fraud targeting federal agencies and programs. Mr. Kraus is former controller ... Read More

New Labor Department Officials appear to have removed Wells Fargo Whistleblower Website

A website offering assistance to Wells Fargo whistleblowers with retaliation complaints has been removed from the Wells Fargo website in the first few days of Donald Trump’s administration. Without any press or explanation, the U.S. Department of Labor removed the special website set up as a resource for employees of Wells Fargo, which has been implicated in widespread consumer fraud and whistleblower retaliation scandals. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote to acting Labor Secretary Edward Hugler Friday inquiring about the website’s disappearance. “On January 24, 2017, I observed that www.dol.gov/wellsfargo, the website that the Department created to aid all Wells Fargo employees ... Read More

Wells Fargo Execs Address Whistleblower Complaints, Ethics Problems

The Chief Executive Officer of Wells Fargo & Co. told a gathering of employees earlier this month that the bank plans to change how it handles whistleblower complaints after several employees complained of facing retribution for reporting sales abuses to an ethics hotline. Speaking to about 2,000 Wells Fargo employees in Des Moines, Iowa, CEO Tim Sloan did not offer any details about the San Francisco-based bank will address whistleblower complaints in the future, but his talk was part of a nationwide “conversations tour” he and other executives have embarked on to boost employee morale and restore public trust. In ... Read More