BURLINGTON, Vt., Sept. 19 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) asked the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Comptroller of the Currency Monday if the agencies made any criminal referrals to the Department of Justice following an investigation of abusive practices at Wells Fargo.
“Your agencies recently fined Wells Fargo $100 million, and $35 million, respectively, for illegally opening up deposit accounts and taking out credit cards for customers without their knowledge or consent,” Sanders wrote. “Have your agencies made any criminal referrals to the Department of Justice regarding this matter?”
“Wells Fargo employees secretly opened unauthorized accounts to hit sales targets and receive bonuses,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said Sept. 8 in a release about the fine. “Because of the severity of these violations, Wells Fargo is paying the largest penalty the CFPB has ever imposed. Today’s action should serve notice to the entire industry that financial incentive programs, if not monitored carefully, carry serious risks that can have serious legal consequences.”
Wells Fargo’s CEO John Stumpf will testify Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee. Carrie Tolstedt, the executive who oversaw the part of the bank responsible for the fraud, left Wells Fargo over the summer with a $124 million bonus.
Sanders commented on the Wells Fargo scandal Thursday during an appearance on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Not one major Wall Street executive has been prosecuted for causing the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, despite banks paying tens of billions in fines.
To read the letter, click here.