Yesenia Jesse Guitron, a Wells Fargo employee in Napa County California who began working for Wells Fargo in 2008 complained to the company when she noticed some of her co-workers were offering to open free accounts which were actually premium accounts with heavy fees. She says she repeatedly complained to the company several times over the years about this but nothing was done. Thousands of customers were improperly charged, many became overdrawn and some had their credit wrecked. Guitron was fired in 2010, without warning. Guitron filed a lawsuit claiming Wells Fargo fired her for speaking out against the fraudulent practices she witnessed.
The bank agreed to pay a $4.75 million penalty to settle the SEC’s charges. It did so without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings and agreed to cease and desist from future violations. After the fraud was discovered in 2014, Banamex fired as many as 11 former employees.