“Come on…this went on for years and they didn’t smell anything in the air about fake accounts?”Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
Didn’t know that the lower level Wells Fargo employees run the entire company while the exec who was responsible for the fake account unit retires and not fired and given a balloon package and while the CEO and Chairman Stumpf and the entire board play dumb and collect enormous stock options and salaries.
Stumpf insisted there was nothing in Wells Fargo’s atmosphere that encouraged these practices. “There was no incentive to do bad things,” he told the Journal.
Instead, he appeared to lay blame at the feet of what he characterized as a minority of bad employees who didn’t “honor” the bank’s culture. Wells Fargo has said that at least 5,300 employees were fired over a five-year period for “inappropriate sales conduct.”
Not everyone in the financial industry accepts Stumpf’s assertion that Wells management knew nothing of the shady practices.
“Stumpf has clearly forgotten Harry Truman’s maxim that ‘the buck stops here.’ He’s responsible for how the org runs,” said Helaine Olen, a financial columnist at Slate and the author of the personal finance industry exposé Pound Foolish.
“It takes a particular level of what my grandmother called ‘chutzpah’ to ― when you are earning millions of dollars annually ― to turn and dump the blame on what are fairly low-paid employees,” Olen told The Huffington Post.
Foreclosure defense attorney Nick Wooten has been making headlines as a consumer attorney since the earliest days of the foreclosure crisis.
Nick became quite well known around the country for his high profile, David v. Goliath type cases. He sued Lender Processing Services (LPS)… he went after MERS… and he won a landmark case in Alabama, of all places, Horace v. LaSalle Bank, in which the judge ruled that the note was not properly endorsed and negotiated into the trust and therefore the trust could not foreclose.
Nick is now practicing law in Chicago, Illinois… he’ll explain why during the interview… and on this Mandelman Matters Podcast he also explain why he is focusing on cases he refers to as: “Break In Cases.”
Homeowners in the middle of loan modifications or short sales… or sometimes the homeowners are current on their mortgages, believe it or not… they come home from work one day to learn that they’ve been locked out of their homes. When they finally get inside they discover that everything they owned… is gone. Sold or taken to the dump. Baby pictures, clothing, appliances, jewelry… precious memories that can never be replaced.
Most of us can remember reading about this sort of thing happening in the early years of the foreclosure crisis, and you’ll be shocked to learn that it’s still happening every day in this country, according to Nick.
It’s gone bad to worse for Wells Fargo. You go, Preet!
U.S. prosecutors have begun an investigation related to sales practices at Wells Fargo & Co that led the bank to agree to a $190 million settlement with regulators, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in Manhattan and San Francisco are investigating Wells Fargo, the person said, following a settlement announced on Sept. 8 over claims that some customers were pushed into fee-generating accounts they never requested.
Wells Fargo declined to comment on Wednesday. A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan also declined to comment.
“We don’t comment on the existence or non-existence of any investigation,” said Abraham Simmons, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco.
The investigation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.