A federal court recently approved a $142 million class-action lawsuit settlement for Wells Fargo after the bank was accused of opening fake accounts in customers’ names. The settlement received preliminary approval nearly a year ago, and it was finally officially approved by the judge overseeing the suit.
The settlement class is all of the people who claimed Wells Fargo opened checking or savings accounts (consumer or small business accounts) or unsecured credit cards or lines of credit without their consent between May 1, 2002 and April 20, 2017. Customers had until July 7 of this year to sign up to be part of the settlement.
Fake accounts were widespread
The settlement arises out of actions brought against the bank by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the city and county of Los Angeles and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. According to the initial claims, more than 5,000 employees of the bank opened as many as two million fake accounts to get sales bonuses from the bank. They did so using the real names of bank customers. The parties filing the suit levied a $150 million fine against Wells Fargo, leading to the class action lawsuit on behalf of the bank’s customers.
This is just the latest legal trouble Wells Fargo has experienced in recent months. Earlier this year, the bank paid out a $480 million settlement to shareholders who accused it of making omissions and misstatements in its sales practice disclosures.
If you become aware of wrongdoing within a business or organization, consult an experienced Dallas whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group.