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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | San Francisco | U.S. | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism
Is Wells Fargo an on-going criminal enterprise?
The Chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo in San Francisco is John Stumpf, who resides in a $7 million penthouse condominium on Russian Hill in San Francisco!
Is Wells Fargo an on-going criminal enterprise?
Wells Fargo is in the news a lot for their unlawful practices
By Lynda Carson - September 12, 2016
San Francisco - Wells Fargo is making headlines again, and if you have a bank account with this bank, it may be a good idea to consider your options and start looking for a bank that understands the the concept of honesty, and trustworthy.
According to a San Francisco press release from Wells Fargo Bank, on September 8, 2016, Wells Fargo announced that it reached a $185 million agreement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney, regarding some outrageous allegations that many of its retail customers received products and services they did not request.
The Chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo in San Francisco is John Stumpf, who resides in a $7 million penthouse condominium on Russian Hill in San Francisco, and has a home in Tahoe City. It has been reported that John Stumpf is worth around $50 million, with an annual salary equal to around $23 million per year.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) fined Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. $100 million for the widespread illegal practice of secretly opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts. Spurred by sales targets and compensation incentives, employees boosted sales figures by covertly opening accounts and funding them by transferring funds from consumers’ authorized accounts without their knowledge or consent, often racking up fees or other charges. According to the bank’s own analysis, employees opened more than two million deposit and credit card accounts that may not have been authorized by consumers. Wells Fargo will pay full restitution to all victims and a $100 million fine to the CFPB’s Civil Penalty Fund. The bank will also pay an additional $35 million penalty to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and another $50 million to the City and County of Los Angeles.”
“Wells Fargo employees secretly opened unauthorized accounts to hit sales targets and receive bonuses,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Because of the severity of these violations, Wells Fargo is paying the largest penalty the CFPB has ever imposed. Today’s action should serve notice to the entire industry that financial incentive programs, if not monitored carefully, carry serious risks that can have serious legal consequences.”
Further evidence of criminal wrongdoing, on September 8, 2016, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced, “The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today assessed a $35 million civil money penalty against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and ordered the bank to make restitution to customers who were harmed by the bank’s unsafe or unsound sales practices.”
“The sales practices the OCC found to be unsafe or unsound included the unauthorized opening of deposit or credit card accounts and the transfer of funds from authorized, existing accounts to unauthorized accounts. The $35 million civil money penalty reflects a number of factors, including the bank’s failure to develop and implement an effective enterprise risk management program to detect and prevent the unsafe or unsound sales practices, and the scope and duration of the practices. The penalty will be paid to the U.S. Treasury.”
“Customers eligible for restitution include those who were financially harmed as a result of the unsafe or unsound sales practices. The OCC order also requires the bank to take corrective action to establish an enterprise-wide sales practices risk management and oversight program to detect and prevent unsafe or unsound sales practices.”
“Additionally, in a press release from the Los Angeles City Attorney, it states, “In May, 2015, following an extensive investigation the Office of City Attorney Mike Feuer sued Wells Fargo over allegations of opening unauthorized accounts. After filing the lawsuit, we received more than 1,000 phone calls and emails from customers and current and former Wells Fargo employees across the country about the issues raised in the litigation.”
“On September 8, 2016, City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that this lawsuit has been settled, and as a result, Wells Fargo will provide restitution to affected customers and pay $50 million in civil penalties, the largest such payment in the history of the City Attorney’s office.”
In an alleged money laundering scheme, as recent as July 20, 2016, the Department of Justice announced that charges have been filed against a former Wells Fargo branch manager and two others for allegedly being involved in a scheme to launder proceeds of a trademark scam.
In another case, on April 8, 2016, it was announced by the Department of Justice (DOJ) that Wells Fargo agreed to pay $1.2 billion for improper mortgage lending practices.
It was during March 2016, that Wells Fargo agreed in a settlement to pay $8.5 million in California over privacy issues.
In 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took action against Wells fargo for an alleged kickback scheme.
In a different case, in an agreed upon settlement during 2011 affecting the disabled who allegedly faced discrimination, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $16 million to compensate individuals.
In a case of Wells Fargo allegedly discriminating against people of color, during 2013 a settlement of $234 million occurred. According to documents, “The settlement resolves the United States' allegations that Wells Fargo engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers in its mortgage lending from 2004 through 2009. The complaint alleges that Wells Fargo discriminated by steering approximately 8,000 African-American and Hispanic wholesale and retail borrowers into subprime mortgages when non-Hispanic white borrowers with similar credit profiles received prime loans. All the borrowers who were allegedly discriminated against were qualified for Wells Fargo mortgage loans according to Well Fargo's own underwriting criteria. The complaint also alleges that, between 2004 and 2009, Wells Fargo discriminated by charging approximately 30,000 African-American and Hispanic wholesale borrowers higher fees and rates than non-Hispanic white borrowers because of their race or national origin rather than the borrowers' credit worthiness or other objective criteria related to borrower risk.”
The above case is separate from a 2012, $25 billion settlement from a different case involving Wells Fargo.
In the above mentioned settlement cases involving Wells Fargo, there is not any mention that any of the executives including John Stumpf were arrested, received probation, or went to prison for the unlawful practices involving Wells Fargo.
Meanwhile, in nearby Alameda a number of people have been arrested recently for a variety of reasons.
Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at] yahooo.com