The controversy surrounding the Wells Fargo fake accounts scandal continues to grow. CNN Money now reports how an employee wrote a warning letter as early as 2007 to discuss widespread fraudulent activity by employees. The newest revelation comes as a surprise as former CEO John Stumpf told Congress he only became aware of the situation in 2013.
Since then, the banking giant’s employees were exposed for opening more than 1.5 million phony checking and debit accounts, which arrived with repercussions. Wells Fargo was fined $185 million for its indiscretion. It then fired more than 5,000 employees and received a scolding from Senator Elizabeth Warren. The letter obtained by CNN Money shows that the concerned employee tried to warn bank officials:
The letter was written by a Wells Fargo (WFC) employee, who had been transferred from the branch after raising sales concerns, and who later won a federal whistleblower retaliation case against the company. Eerily, the letter seemed to predict the scandal Wells Fargo is dealing with today.
“Left unchecked, the inevitable outcome shall be one of professional and reputational damage, consumer fraud and shareholder lawsuits, coupled with regulator sanctions,” the letter warned.
The employee reportedly wrote a second letter to Stumpf and the bank’s audit and examination committee, but CNN Money reported it couldn’t determine whether the letter had been sent or if Stumpf had read it. The employee who sent the letter has since moved on and did not comment for the story. As for Stumpf, he had initially said he was only aware of the illegal bank accounts as of 2013. Stumpf recently retired in the wake of the scandal, so he may not be forthcoming about more details.
(Via CNN Money)