Big Banks Finally Punishing Employees For Fraud… Like The Call Center Guy Who Used A Fake Dime 50 Years Ago
from the rules-are-rules? dept
Wells Fargo, of course, was one of a bunch of the big banks heavily involved in questionable activities that brought the world to the precarious economic conditions we’re still living in today. Just a few weeks ago, the company settled charges that it had misled cities and non-profits when selling them risky securities without disclosing the risks. The company gets a slap on the wrist — without having to admit guilt — and one executive (again without admitting guilt) gets a six month suspension. Have you heard about any top execs at any of the banks getting fired for financial malfeasance? No? Well, perhaps it’s because they’re focusing on the real trouble makers. Like Richard Eggers. 49 years ago, Eggers, as a teenager, tried to stick a cardboard cutout of a dime into a washing machine. He didn’t get away with it at the time, and was arrested for fraud. He somehow put his life back together and, until recently, was a phone customer service agent for Wells Fargo.
And now he’s really paying the piper: Wells Fargo has just fired him for the decades-old incident that, again, involved a dime. Even accounting for inflation, we’re talking about a dime. However, thanks to supposedly “tough” new regulations concerning financial institutions, barring them from employing execs convicted of fraud, Wells Fargo is claiming that it had to fire Eggers.
“We don’t have discretion to grant exceptions in situations like this. Once we find out someone has a criminal history of dishonesty or breach of trust we can no longer employ them.”
Eggers has responded by filing a civil rights complaint against the company and federal regulators. He and his lawyers are hoping to turn it into a class action lawsuit, as apparently a number of other employees at banks have lost their jobs under these rules. Actual execs responsible for the financial crisis? Not so much.
This is yet another case where laws like this must “sound good at the time” to the policy makers putting them together without any sense of who it will really impact. And the end result is that we sure are making Mr. Eggers “pay” for that dime stunt in 1963, huh?