Articles Posted in Bank fraud

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.

Now, more than seven years after being ousted from her job – a Bay Area journalists’ group is scheduled to honor Yesenia Guitron for her role in bringing her former company’s misdeeds to light. Guitron, who worked for Wells Fargo N.A.’s St. Helena branch from 2008 to 2010, will receive a James Madison Freedom of Information Award from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Northern California chapter. The ceremony is scheduled for March 27 in San Francisco, SPJ NorCal announced last month.
Guitron, who will receive the society’s award for whistleblowers, was one of several Wells Fargo workers to describe aggressive sales targets that compelled employees to open bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages and other services in customers’ names without their permission or knowledge. The revelation of the fake accounts starting in 2013 led to hundreds of millions in dollars in fines, the dismissal of more than 5,300 workers and the resignation of chief executive John Stumpf.

The SEC says  Banamex had sub-standard internal controls over the accounts receivable factoring program used by OSA.  Banamex lacked the controls necessary to test the authenticity of the factored documents prior to advancing funds to OSA and recording them as accounts receivable. The SEC also says the banking subsidiary also lacked controls sufficient to identify and respond to “red flags that arose during the relationship between Banamex and OSA potentially warning Banamex of the ongoing fraud.”Citigroup recorded losses from the fraud in 2013 ($360 million) and 2014 ($113 million).

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.