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banking fraud 11 articles

Wells Fargo Pays $575 Million To Settle Customer-Fraud Allegations

Wells Fargo will pay $575 million to resolve claims in all 50 states and the District of Columbia alleging the San Francisco-based bank violated consumer protection laws by opening millions of fake bank accounts for its customers. The bank also agreed to measures that will give its customers an extra level of protection by creating a customer restitution program, an announcement of the Dec. 28 agreement explained. Any Wells Fargo customers who haven’t been reimbursed through the restitution programs already in place at the bank can turn to a bank escalation team for relief. The settlement resolves claims that Wells Fargo ... Read More

Wells Fargo Blames Hundreds of Home Foreclosures on Calculating Error

Wells Fargo said a software glitch in its mortgage loan modification underwriting tool led to hundreds of its customers losing their houses to foreclosure. In its latest quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Wells Fargo said that the calculation error caused about 625 customers to either be incorrectly denied a government-sponsored mortgage loan modification or not offered a loan modification when they would have qualified. “In approximately 400 of these instances, after the loan modification was denied or the customer was deemed ineligible to be offered a loan modification, a foreclosure was completed,” Wells Fargo said ... Read More

Wells Fargo Wasn’t the Only Bank to Open Unauthorized Customer Accounts

Wells Fargo wasn’t an outlier when it opened 3.5 million unauthorized customer accounts. Federal regulators found that dozens of other banks opened nearly 10,000 deposit and loan accounts for customers without their consent. The new banking fraud revelation came in testimony given by U.S. Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Joseph Otting before the Senate Banking Committee June 14. Although the number of newly discovered fraudulent accounts is miniscule in comparison to the 3.5 million bogus accounts Wells Fargo bankers opened for customers, it points to the need for banks to put better safeguards in place. According to USA Today, banking ... Read More

Wells Fargo Employees Altered Customer Documents To Meet Regulatory Deadline

Wells Fargo’s business practices and controls have again fallen under criticism after it was revealed that employees in the bank’s commercial division improperly altered and added information to commercial customer accounts in a rush to meet a regulatory deadline. According to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story, The employees in Wells Fargo’s so-called wholesale unit, which is separate from its retail bank, added or altered information without customers’ knowledge, according to the people familiar with the matter. The information added varied from social security numbers to addresses to dates of birth for people associated with business-banking clients, the ... Read More

Wells Fargo Unauthorized Account Scandal Nearly Doubles

Wells Fargo announced Thursday that an internal investigation uncovered almost twice the number of credit card and deposit accounts opened without the customer’s knowledge or consent than the bank had originally estimated. The investigation, led by a third-party firm hired by Wells Fargo, found that 3.5 million customer accounts were potentially unauthorized, up 70 percent from the 2.1 million potentially unauthorized accounts it estimated a year ago. Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan took measures to lessen the potential shock of this news by warning investors and customers weeks ago that the unauthorized accounts scandal was likely a lot larger than ... Read More

Wells Fargo Scandal Far Worse Than First Estimated, Lawyers Say

Wells Fargo bank may have opened as many as 3.5 million bogus customer checking, savings, and credit card accounts during the last 15 years, far more than previously believed, lawyers for a class of affected customers estimate. According to papers filed May 11 in federal court in San Francisco, plaintiffs’ lawyers say the number of accounts Wells Fargo opened without customers’ knowledge or consent is much higher than the bank and federal regulators originally estimated. For months that number stood at around 2.1 million. The fake accounts stretch back to 2002, an internal bank investigation found, and continued until about ... 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

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

Hotline Opened For Former Wells Fargo Bankers With Retaliation Concerns

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) introduced a hotline Friday for certain former Wells Fargo employees who were fired amid news that bank representatives had been opening fake, unauthorized accounts for customers. In September, federal regulators ordered the San Francisco-based bank to pay the U.S. $185 million in penalties and $5 million to customers it defrauded by pressuring employees to meet aggressive sales quotas by opening the unauthorized customer accounts. Responding to this pressure, Wells Fargo employees opened up some two million fake accounts and charged customers maintenance fees on those accounts. The bank subsequently fired about 5,300 employees for opening the accounts ... Read More

Whistleblower’s FCA Complaint Accuses Wells Fargo Bank of Fraud, Retaliation

A former Wells Fargo loan officer who claims he was fired in retaliation for complaining about allegedly illegal and unethical directives that could have forced some customers into foreclosure proceedings has filed a False Claims Act lawsuit against the bank in a Portland, Ore., federal court, accusing it of defrauding the federal government by improperly collecting $1.4 billion in foreclosure-prevention funds for loans during the housing crisis. In December 2013, whistleblower Duke Tran “stumbled upon a secret Wells Fargo policy that he felt compromised his personal ethics and violated the laws governing mortgage servicing,” the complaint asserts. The policy required ... Read More