Wells Fargo accused of fraudulent practices

By: News Staff

ABC News/ABC6 News

news@abc6.com

One of the nation’s biggest banks is accused of fraudulent practices over a 5-year period and it is a scandal that involves thousands of employees, and hundreds of thousands of bank accounts.

 “…the largest such payment in the history of the city attorney’s office,” says Mike Feuer; Los Angeles City Attorney.

A 185 million dollar fine.

“This is a major victory for consumers; consumers should never be taken advantage of by their bank.”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Los Angeles City Attorney are accusing thousands of Wells Fargo employees of widespread illegal sales practices that included secretly using customer information to open more than two million savings and credit card accounts, sometimes causing extra fees.

This was all done so employees could meet aggressive sales goals.

Many of those customers had no idea these accounts even existed.

“I have another account and I’ll be putting more money in that other account,” said Valerie Lefrak.

“That’s sad, but I do look into my account so I know what account is there and what shouldn’t be there,” said Melissa Tiger.

Wells Fargo is firing 5,300 employees in connection with the “widespread” scheme that spans at least five years.

The bank has not admitted or denied wrong doing. They tell ABC News: “While we regret every interaction that was not handled properly, the number of instances and team members involved represent a very small portion of our business.”

But ethics professor Jo-Ellen Pozner is not letting Wells Fargo executives off the hook.

If a bank is trustworthy top brass should know what’s happening at a very low level of the organization.”

Wells Fargo has said that money will automatically be put back into the bank accounts of anyone affected.

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2016