Fraud in the News

The case of the corporate whistleblower program gone wrong

According to the Sept. 21 New York magazine article, Former Wells Fargo Employees Say They Were Fired for Whistle-blowing, by Adam K. Raymond, a handful of Wells Fargo employees told CNN they were let go after blowing the whistle on the fraudulent practices that resulted in $185 million in fines for the bank.

According to the article, one New Jersey man said he called the ethics hotline and was fired eight days later for tardiness. A Texas woman says she called the company's ethics hotline to report dubious sales practices and faced retaliatory "bullying" and "defamation of character." She was fired for falsifying documents, which she denies doing.

On Sept. 21, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf told the Senate Banking Committee that bank employees are "encouraged to raise their hands" if they see illegal activity taking place. However, according to the article, CNN spoke to someone who'd worked in Wells Fargo human resources who confirmed that the bank's strategy for dealing with whistleblowers was to find ways to fire them "in retaliation for shining light."

Read more about the Wells Fargo phony-account fraud in the "Big Frauds" column

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