Wells Fargo exec was fired for not scamming N.J. customers

Wells Fargo exec was fired for not scamming N.J. customers

A Somerset County woman is suing Wells Fargo Bank alleging she was fired for refusing to participate in an alleged scheme similar to the bank’s widespread account scam that led to millions of dollars in federal fines.
Melinda Bini, a former assistant vice president and regional private banker at the Highland Park bank’s branch, says in a recent lawsuit that supervisors instructed her to manipulate accounts and sell banking products or investments that were not the customers’ best interest or without their knowledge.

The lawsuit, filed in Middlesex County Superior Court on April 5, names Wells Fargo and three local bank supervisors.

The Franklin Park woman accuses her former superiors in the suit of running or knowing about alleged banking and investment fraud scheme at the local branch.
A spokesman for Wells Fargo, Kevin Friedlander, said the three supervisors named in the lawsuit are still employed by the bank, but did not comment on the allegations.

“Since this is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to comment any further on the lawsuit,” Friedlander said in an emailed statement.

Bini, who is a licensed financial advisor hired by the bank in 2002, refused to participate the “unlawful and unethical banking” and was harassed in retaliation, according to the suit.

In April 2016, Bini was fired, a move she said was manufactured by her supervisors for not joining the alleged scheme, according to the suit. Full Story

A New Jersey woman has sued Wells Fargo Bank, saying she was fired for refusing to participate in a scheme to manipulate accounts and sell products that weren’t in customers’ best interest.

Melinda Bini filed a lawsuit in state court in New Jersey on April 5 against the bank and three supervisors from the branch she worked at in Highland Park, NJ.com reported.

In the lawsuit, Bini accused her superiors of running or knowing about the scheme and says she was retaliated against and later fired for refusing to participate. Bini, a former assistant vice president and regional private banker, is seeking her job back and damages.

In September, San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. agreed to a $185-million settlement with Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency after employees were found to have created as many as 2 million checking, savings and other accounts in customers’ names without those customers’ knowledge or consent.

The tactics, blamed on onerous sales goals, were first uncovered by the Los Angeles Times in 2013.

Kevin Friedlander, a spokesman for the bank, said the company doesn’t tolerate retaliation against employees who express their concerns.

“Our nonretaliation policy makes clear that no team member may be retaliated against for providing information about suspected unethical or illegal activities or possible violations of any Wells Fargo policies,” Friedlander said. Full Story

A former executive at Wells Fargo claims in a lawsuit that the bank fired her because she refused to participate in a scam like the bank’s well-publicized fake account scandal, which led to a $185 million fine after more than 5,000 of the bank’s former employees opened more than 2 million potentially unauthorized accounts to get sales bonuses.

NJ.com has the details:

Melinda Bini, a former assistant vice president and regional private banker at the Highland Park bank’s branch, says in a recent lawsuit that supervisors instructed her to manipulate accounts and sell banking products or investments that were not the customers’ best interest or without their knowledge.

The lawsuit, filed in Middlesex County Superior Court on April 5, names Wells Fargo and three local bank supervisors.

The Franklin Park woman accuses her former superiors in the suit of running or knowing about alleged banking and investment fraud scheme at the local branch.

And after Bini refused to take part in the scheme, she claims she was harassed and eventually fired in retaliation.

It should be noted that Bini’s allegations are merely allegations so far. The bank is not commenting on the lawsuit beyond saying that it “does not tolerate retaliation against team members who report their concern.”

The lawsuit is just the latest in a string of bad headlines in the wake of the fake account fiasco. Full Story

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