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Criminal Charges a Possibility for Wells Fargo Execs

March 8, 2017

[Image:  Robert Arial /]


What did you know?

When did you know it?

Did you hide or withhold information?


As federal officials conduct their expanding investigation into the sales scandal at Wells Fargo, and former employees are called up to testify before federal grand juries, we learn of growing concern among bank executives that some of their colleagues may face criminal charges. And, even if executives avoid criminal charges, they may still face civil charges from federal regulators that can result in fines and suspensions or bans from financial services.


Presently, Department of Justice investigators are interviewing bank examiners and former bank employees are being called to testify before a federal grand jury. The focus is to learn what bank executives knew about the sales scandal, when they knew about it, and whether they purposely withheld information from Wells Fargo directors and/or regulators.


Even if executives are not charged with criminal misconduct, they could face civil penalties including fines or a ban from the banking industry. Wells has already fired some executives and clawed back portions of their pay.


Frankly, if there were lies and cover-ups, then it’s just a matter of time before the truth comes out. Inconsistencies will be detected from the mountain of evidence that is being assembled from bank reviews and federal investigations. And later on, rounds and rounds of testimony from lawsuits will likely confirm what the investigations uncover. Wells Fargo customers and former employees want the truth to come out and for justice to prevail.


SIDE NOTE.   If it weren’t for the CFPB, or Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Wells Fargo sales scandal may never have come to light. So it’s with deep concern and consternation that we watch the Trump administration and Congressional leaders try and destroy this federal watchdog and its director, Richard Cordray.