Tags: wells fargo | unauthorized | accounts | fraud

Wells Fargo Unauthorized Accounts Defrauded Customers, Lawsuit Says

Image: Wells Fargo Unauthorized Accounts Defrauded Customers, Lawsuit Says
(Chris Jackson/Getty Images, file)

By    |   Wednesday, 06 May 2015 10:08 AM

Wells Fargo opened unauthorized accounts in its customers names in order to bleed them of fees, alleges a new lawsuit filed Monday by Los Angeles prosecutors.

"In its push for growth, Wells Fargo often elevated its profits over the legal rights of its customers," City Attorney Mike Feuer said at a news conference Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.

Wells Fargo’s business model pressures its employees with unrealistic sales expectations, which led to the abuse, said Feuer.

"That, among other things, have driven employees to engage in unlawful activity including opening fee-generating customer accounts and adding unwanted secondary accounts to primary accounts without permission," he continued.

The filing seeks an injunction to stop the alleged fraudulent practices, as well as civil penalties of $2,500 for each violation.

Longtime customers like Frank Ahn, a small business owner in L.A., said that he was victimized and more than once found additional accounts had been added to his primary ones. Even after declining its offers, the bank opened three savings accounts in his name, he said.

"Every time I go to the branch, it’s a battle with them. I feel if I have a bank account with you, it should be a mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationship," he explained. "But this is totally one-sided in Wells Fargo’s favor."

The lawsuit concludes that, "Wells Fargo has generated a virtual fee-generating machine, through which its customers are harmed, its employees take the blame, and Wells Fargo reaps the profit."

The San Francisco-based company responded to the lawsuit with a statement that said, "Wells Fargo's culture is focused on the best interests of its customers and creating a supportive, caring, and ethical environment for our team members."

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Wells Fargo opened unauthorized accounts in its customers names in order to bleed them of fees, alleges a new lawsuit filed Monday by Los Angeles prosecutors.
wells fargo, unauthorized, accounts, fraud
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2015-08-06
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 10:08 AM
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