September 21st, 2016|
The fallout continues from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s announcement of a historic $100 million fine against Wells Fargo. Now, Wells Fargo faces a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of the victims, their own customers. The first suit was filed September 16, 2016 in Utah’s Federal courts, and alleges that Wells Fargo opened more than 2 million fraudulent bank accounts or credit cards without customer authorization. The class action may cover as many as one million consumers who were defrauded by the bank.
According to the CFPB, Wells Fargo committed widespread unlawful practices by opening accounts and shifting funds from consumers’ existing accounts into new accounts without their customers’ knowledge or permission, racking up fees and charges for the bank, and commissions for its employees. These widespread criminal activities included unauthorized transfers of customers’ funds into unknown deposit accounts, and even unauthorized credit cards being opened using Wells Fargo customers’ stolen identities. Wells Fargo profited from the fees generated by these unauthorized and unmanaged banking and credit accounts.
The trouble is likely to continue for Wells Fargo, who has already agreed to pay $185 million in fines and penalties and laid off 5,300 employees as a result of the scandal. Wells Fargo’s CEO, John G. Stumpf, was called before the Senate Banking Committee for two hours on Tuesday. During the hearing, Senator Elizabeth A. Warren addressed Mr. Stumpf directly, accusing him of “gutless leadership” for his failure to remedy systemic problems at Wells Fargo that began as early as 2009, and calling for his resignation. On Tuesday, the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau indicated his agency has referred the case to the U.S. Department of Justice for potential criminal charges.
Analysts have suggested that a corrupt corporate culture pushed over five thousand employees to open fraudulent accounts using stolen identities. Wells Fargo has had its share of other recent scandals, including settlement of a $200 million class action lawsuit that accused Wells Fargo of misrepresenting the order in which debit-card transactions were sequenced, resulting in unexpected overdraft fees. “Even eight years after the collapse of the housing market, widespread fraud continues at banking and lending institutions around the country,” says Adam W. Pittman, a class action attorney at Cory Watson Attorneys. “The victims of this fraud are ordinary people, and those responsible often escape prosecution. Too many times, the only way to hold them accountable for widespread fraud is to take action yourself and seek qualified legal counsel.”
Attorneys with Cory Watson have been at the forefront of major class actions for more than three decades. The firm recovered millions of dollars for victims of the UBS tax shelter scandal in which the investment giant defrauded investors with fraudulent fees and transactions costs. Cory Watson has recovered more than $2 billion on behalf of clients nationwide and is investigating potential class action litigation against Wells Fargo. Contact Cory Watson Attorneys today if you are considering filing a Wells Fargo Class Action Lawsuit.