Whistleblower docs: Wells Fargo was opening fake accounts in 2005

Dennis Hambek was a Wells Fargo branch manager. In 2005, he found Wells Fargo employees creating fake accounts in their customers' names (in order to meeting the company's punishing sales quotas and avoid being blackballed across the industry). He sent a certified letter about the practice in 2006 to Carrie Tolstedt — the bank exec who oversaw the fraud and retired weeks ahead of the scandal with a $125,000,000 bonus — and held onto the receipts.

There are a lot of pissed off, chewed-up, spat-out ex-Wells Fargo employees who were hounded, fired and blacklisted for blowing the whistle on fraud. They're are a lot of Wells Fargo customers whose lives were disrupted and even destroyed by the fraud those employees were coerced into committing. There's going to be more of this.

Hambek says a customer named Bill Moore came to his branch in July 2005 after he learned that a different Wells Fargo branch had opened checking, savings, and debit-card accounts in his name without his authorization. Hambek asked Moore to write out details of his complaint. Then, Hambek says, he reported the ethics violation to the bank's investigations department and called a hotline employees were encouraged to use to report misconduct. He says no action was taken.

Six months later, Hambek sent the certified letter explaining what he had seen to Tolstedt. "I would hope that this type of management is only occurring in Washington and not throughout Wells Fargo," he wrote.

What Wells Fargo Knew [Roberto Ferdman and Mimi Dwyer/Vice]