Federal Prosecutors Looking Deeper Into Wells Fargo Phantom Accounts

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Sep 15, 2016
Wells Fargo

The CEO of Wells Fargo, which had recently been fined $185 million for charging fees to millions of customers on fake accounts the bank had set up without their knowledge, said recently that the blame for the scandal could primarily be laid at the feet of low-performing employees who were worried about keeping their jobs, but it appears that the federal government is skeptical of this explanation, as The Wall Street Journal reports that the matter is now the subject of a federal investigation. The probe, said the Journal, will look into whether the phantom accounts were set up at the direction of senior bank leadership, such as executive vice president of the bank's community banking division Carrie Tolstedt, who is set to walk away with $124 million when she retired at the end of this year (though documents so far do not name anyone specific, according to the Journal). If prosecutors find anything noteworthy, it us unknown whether they would pursue civil or criminal actions. 

The Justice Department isn't the only part of the federal government interested in the Wells Fargo scandal. Senator Elizabeth Warren has called the CEO for a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, which is scheduled for Sept. 20, according to CNN Money. Wells Fargo has been ordered to turn over documents related to the affair, which Senator Warren called a staggering fraud. 

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