A group of senators is already asking the Department of Justice to use a new policyto target individuals at Wells Fargo for corporate misconduct (and maybe even more) in the wake of the fake account scandal surrounding the bank.
The senators’ push for prosecution seems to focus mainly on the executives at Wells Fargo, including departed CEO John Stumpf, for their roles in setting up and overseeing an incentive program that led to the bank’s employees setting up millions of fake accounts in consumers’ names in order to get sales bonuses.
But the state of California is making a move that could lead to a whole new world of hurt for Wells Fargo, its current and former executives, and the 5,000 former employees who opened the fake accounts.
According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, which has been all over this scandalsince the beginning, the California Department of Justice is launching an investigation into the conduct at Wells Fargo but plans to use a different tact than the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which together fined the bank $185 million.
The LA Times reports that California is now investigating Wells Fargo for criminal identity theft. That’s right – criminal identity theft.
From the LA Times report:
Harris’ office demanded the bank turn over a trove of information, including the identities of California customers who had unauthorized accounts opened in their names, information about fees related to those accounts, the names of the Wells Fargo employees who opened the accounts, the names of those employees’ managers and emails or other communication related to those accounts.
Her office is also requesting the same information about accounts opened by Wells Fargo workers in California for customers in other states.
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