$2.6bn lawsuit alleges Wells Fargo fired employees who wouldn’t break law

by Ryan Smith26 Sep 2016
Former Wells Fargo employees are suing the bank bot $2.6 billion, claiming they were fired for refusing to break the law.

The lawsuit is one more salvo in the continuing barrage of criticism and bad PR stemming from revelations that Wells Fargo, in order to boost sales figures, created millions of bank accounts without the account holders’ knowledge or authorization. Wells Fargo recently agreed to pay $185 million in penalties to settle the allegations, and claimed it had fired more than 5,300 employees involved in the fraud.

But the class-action suit claims many employees were fired for refusing to break the law, according to an NPR report. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all bank employees who were penalized for not making sales quotas over the past 10 years, NPR reported.

“The biggest victims of this scheme are a class of people that nobody else has talked about,” the lawsuit said. “The biggest victims of Wells Fargo's scam [are] the class of victims that were fired because they did not meet these cross sell quotas by engaging in the fraudulent scam that would line the CEO's pockets.”

The lawsuit insists that Wells Fargo’s sales goals were “unrealistic” and “impossible,” and that employees couldn’t possibly meet quotas consistently without resort to fraud, NPR reported.

“Thousands of employees who failed to resort to illegal tactics were either demoted or fired as a result,” the lawsuit claimed.

The lawsuit seeks damages of $2.6 billion – “and possibly more,” according to the filing – and alleges that Wells Fargo is guilty of a variety of misdeeds including unlawful business practices, wrongful termination and failure to pay overtime.


  • by Joe Wehage | 9/26/2016 1:04:11 PM

    Why was the Federal Government paid the recent $185 million fine on Wells Fargo? Why didn't it go to the clients whom fraud was perpetrated on?

  • by TL | 9/26/2016 1:37:28 PM

    Great Question- I've often wondered that myself when the government benefits from all of the fines they impose. It seems to me that it is just all the more incentive for the hungry wolves in government to use their authority, not that Wells Fargo did right by their employees. But they should certainly be the ones benefitting, not the government itself taking advantage of the situation. That also seems fraudulent in itself

  • by | 9/26/2016 1:54:31 PM

    ABsolutley! It is common in municipalities that no profit can be made from fines and fees. The payments must serve to pay the actual costs only. Of course, the method of figuring the costs are wrought with more bureaucracy which further amps up the cost. for example, the cost of providing a service may be the cost of ten minutes of an employee's time, plus a bit for the cost of the facility and the administration. Well, the assigned cost can be based on the marginal cost or it can be based on the entire prorata cost. The incidental services should cost the citizen only the incidental, additional cost. These costs are estimated and then a rate is set. However, if a department has a lot of fluff or unproductive employees then that cost to the citizen for the incidental service is going to be unfairly high. Imagine if you were required to have the city crew mow your lawn. Think of the crews you have witnessed along the road where one is clearly a supervisor, a few are floundering and a few are productive. What would you have to pay for this type of crew to mow your lawn? Probably triple or more than your lawn service provider. Point being, that fine should be paid mostly to the victims and a minor part to the administration handling it.


Should CFPB have more supervision over credit agencies?