Wells Fargo Fires Employee Who Committed 10-Cent Fraud in 1963

A teenage prank has cost a customer service rep his job, thanks to new Federal regulations.

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The truth always comes out. If it takes half a year or half a century, the truth always comes out.

So 68-year-old Richard Eggers really should have known that the sordid details of his dark, criminal past would eventually creep into the present and jeopardize his career. In 1963, the Iowa resident gave new meaning to the term “money laundering” when he tried to insert a cardboard cutout of a dime into a laundromat machine. Local law enforcement caught wind of the stunt and arrested him for fraud.

(MORE: Wells Fargo Mails Statements to Wrong Customers)

Eggers, who was a teenager at the time of his arrest, turned his life around and until recently worked as a customer service representative at Wells Fargo bank. But under new federal employment regulations, Wells Fargo fired Eggers upon learning of his criminal record, ABC affiliate WOI-TV reports. The regulations were instated to weed out workers with histories of fraud and identity theft to better protect the company’s customers.

But wait, you might be thinking, aren’t these rules meant to weed out senior executives whos missteps can cost customers millions of dollars — not customer services reps guilty of decades-old pranks?Good question. But apparently, a rule’s a rule. As Wells Fargo spokesperson Angela Kaipust told WOI-TV:

“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 said he plans to apply for a waiver to be exempt from the law and reverse the company’s decision — but that process could take months. In the meantime, he’s seeking the assistance of a lawyer and hunting for a new job.

MORE: Should Cities Have to Patronize Small, Local Banks?

45 comments
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hardworker777
hardworker777

Poor guy! This is the height of stupidity. Give him his job back!

PC
PC

Zero tolerance=stupidity

Andrea Blackwell
Andrea Blackwell

Well, ain't THAT a cinder, if I ever saw one.

But hey, ten cents was a LOT of money back in '63.

You could dry your drawers with it!

I wonder how far up the ladder does that kind of zero tolerance go?

Weird story, but I wouldn't put it past them.

In the end, they will lose a lot more than the pension money they tried to bilk.

Well, at least they had a reason.

I watched the corporate plantation lay off (same result) people starting with the highest paid or nearest to retirement.  We broke no rules, but the result is the same.  They find something no matter what.

They really think the geeks they laid off are pining to return to that?

Even without my disability, where's my motivation?

I can't do the job I did, but I'll not trust them with my livelihood ever again when I recover.

I don't need a position called 'genius' defiling the meaning of the word. 

And titles like "Jedi" is just laughable.

Geneology research puts my family around the Anderson plantation where a slave told his former master to shove it, when he called for him to return.

I'm SURE we're related.

http://www.lettersofnote.com/2...

Charles Ranier
Charles Ranier

 I once tried to buy a candy bar with plastic money and when they refused to take it I took the candy anyway and ran. Got as far as the door before they caught me and I ended up in a patrol car.

I was five years old at the time and the cops just took me home down the street, but dang, I should try applying to Wells Fargo and see if this trips up my employment chances.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith

This is assinine.  Bush, Cheney and the Republicrooks get away with heisting hundreds of billions of dollars, and this poor guy gets busted for a dime 50 years ago.

Roy Austin Smith
Roy Austin Smith

yeh, fired an old man that did not get a chance to do anything wrong. will not fire bammy , holder, biden for being involved in the killling of a border patrol and another killing connected to the oklahoma city bombing . we have some wonderful bosses now days. the thrid world country is upon us.

Louis Nevitt
Louis Nevitt

This has to be a prank right; story from the Onion? Recent "rules" applied by the VA regarding SDVOSB has removed 18,000 from CVE business roles, down to about 5,000 veteran owned small businesses at this point. And Romney would be worse. I have to find a way to get to Canada; this place is hypocritical toast.

 

Deb Murphy
Deb Murphy

Same thing happened to my husband. He was employed by Wells for a few years before his background check revealed he had an 18 year old returned check charge. He received a summons, paid it off, never went to court and then forgot about it. But in paying it off, it was an admission of guilt and therefore shows up on his record. He was fired from Wells but he did get an FDIC waiver and is still employed by Wells. You do not have to be arrested, but any admission of guilt, including paying off a fine/court cost is subject to the banking rules. The rules are there for our protection and the FDIC waiver is in place to override the minor infractions. It took my husband 3 months to get the waiver by the way. I agree that it seems to be a very strict set of rules, especially for such minor charges and there definitely should be exceptions for employees who do not handle money or have access to banking/financial records. My husband works in the mortgage division.

Phoenix31756
Phoenix31756

" In 1963, the Iowa resident gave new meaning to the term “money

laundering” when he tried to insert a cardboard cutout of a dime into a

laundromat machine. Local law enforcement caught wind of the stunt and

arrested him for fraud."It's sad that I don't remember what I thought about those games where they taught you about Money like counting and giving change and all that......Am glad I never played !Imagine you playing a game of Monopoly and going directly to jail for using  "Counterfeiting Money" and 20 yrs later paying the piper !  

Theresa Page
Theresa Page

I am disappointed in wells Fargo.  The guy was a minor at the time and that was over a half a century  ago... The guy was probably just playing around with the laundry machine to see what it would do out of curiosity and some angry merchant or supercop took the deal too far... That's what Teenagers do, stupid things.  Some lawyer could probably get that thing ex sponged off from his record.

Forget the dime and give the guys job back..  Go after the real crooks.

wesvvv
wesvvv

Fortunately, the theft committed by upper management isn't considered illegal.

Santayana2011
Santayana2011

This supposed blind fealty to the regulations is really Wells Fargo's attempt to stir anger against ALL bank regulation.  "Let that poor guy have his job back", we'll say.  "Yes, and let's drop all the other regulations that stop us from becoming even bigger and less accountable," they'll wish.

Marjorie Snook
Marjorie Snook

They enforce the rules on little people and ignore it in the case of the real fraudsters.

Also, as a bank they are terrible, make you jump through a crazy number of hoops and treat all of their customers as likely fraudsters. Wells bought Wachovia and acquired me as a customer. I am too lazy to have moved all my money yet, but I think about it every time I have to do anything involving the bank

traderjim7
traderjim7

68 and he is seeking a new job?  Shouldn't he be retired under a palm tree in Florida?  Oh, that;s right, in this Obama ecomony, no one will ever get to retire.

Mary Waterton
Mary Waterton

Funny how the banking system work. If you defraud taxpayers out of BILLIONS, then they promote you and give you MILLION dollar bonuses. But if you steal a measly dime, they fire you. I guess because it doesn't show enough ambition.

Rolf Steiner
Rolf Steiner

The "long arm of the law" finally caught up to him.  Too bad we won't see that happen to all those Wall Street bankers in our lifetime.

J Villain
J Villain

Here is where he messed up. He didn't incorporate first. If he had then he wouldn't have had to plead guilty. Just pay a trivial fine. Then he wouldn't have had a criminal record and  so wouldn't be in trouble.

busyslinky
busyslinky

The story said the man (as a teenager) was arrested.  Was he convicted? This is not clear.  So someone can lose their jobs if they were arrested, even wrongfully?

Gandalf47
Gandalf47

I thought that the crimes/discretions of minors were sealed.

Deb Murphy
Deb Murphy

Same thing happened to my husband. He was employed by Wells for a few years before his background check revealed he had an 18 year old returned check charge. He received a summons, paid it off and never went to court but in doing so it was an admission of guilt and therefore shows up on his record. He was fired from Wells but he did get an FDIC waiver and is still employed by Wells. So no...you do not have to be arrested, but any admission of guilt including paying off a fine/court cost is subject to the banking rules.

grgreene
grgreene

They DID SO TOO have the discretion to ignore it.  They could've JUST IGNORED it.  Just WHO EXACTLY was going to FORCE them to comply?!??  It would've been far far better for Wells Fargo if the enforcer/bully/idiot had been THAT BUREAUCRAT INSTEAD OF Wells Fargo.

 

Brittany Kalas
Brittany Kalas

Excellent use of time and energy Wells Fargo.  I hope you direct the same toward the crooks who helped bring this country to its knees.  Doubtful that that will happen but I'm hopeful just the same.  

traderjim7
traderjim7

The names of the crooks who brought this country to its knees are listed in the voting booth with the word democrat after their name.

UselessName12
UselessName12

Actually all politicians are crooks. At least at the level you are inferring about. Don't pretend republicans are innocent. 

TheWanderer
TheWanderer

This is typical of the stupidity of our generation. We look for laws to deal with serious situations and then enforce them in the most trivial situations. I was caught swiping a packet of sugar from a snack bar in a bowling alley in 1965 at the age of nine. Is this a secret that I must guard with my life for fear of losing my job almost 50 years later?

Can our society reach greater heights of "exceptional" stupidity??

Sue Sarkis
Sue Sarkis

Wells Fargo and their spokesperson, Angela Kaipust, are wrong; dead wrong.  According to the FDIC, a Section 19 application is not required for "de minimis" offenses which include offenses punishable by imprisonment for a term of one year or less and/or a fine of $1,000 or less.

 

http://www.fdic.gov/regulation...

Greg Easter
Greg Easter

 What this story fails to make clear is that this lets Wells Fargo off the hook for paying this guy's pension!  THAT'S why they did this, you can bet.

Dylanwill
Dylanwill

To some extent, It's the shame of law and rule! An old man should face pranks made within teenage, and have to find another job, at 68-years-old!!! I feel sad!

dfwenigma
dfwenigma

Actually if on an employment application - any employment application, credit application or any other application from 1965 to the present - if you in fact were convicted and they asked EVER - and you answered NO to the question - they could take retroactive action virtually forever. Pretty sad isn't it?

Gandalf47
Gandalf47

Most applications ask if you have every been CONVICTED OF A FELONY.  Putting a cardboard dime into a laundromat machine is hardly a felony.

dumbandproud
dumbandproud

Most applications ask if you have been CONVICTED OF  A CRIME!!!             Is a $10 traffic violation, ....dog poop violation, littering...etc...,  a CRIME?!?!? Watch out 4 frustrated wannabe cops in uniform!!! 

grgreene
grgreene

 The issue IS NOT what they COULD do!  They are whining that they COULD NOT forgive/overlook because NEW LAWS AND REGULATIONS REQUIRED them to do this!  That is simply not the case.   And they don't have to take MY word for it -- they could just ASK THE REGULATOR.

dfwenigma
dfwenigma

Wells Fargo got caught in an employment lie. Now they will obfuscate, attempt to cover up and then wait - and pay the man off - he'll never have a day in court and the whole thing will blow over - and next time - they'll find someone more vulnerable before they show them the door they'll trap them. Oops they were caught - surprised?

Melete
Melete

Now THAT is the pot calling the kettle black!

e-Sherpa
e-Sherpa

Wells Fargo is going to lose a lot of people in management once this standard is applied uniformly... Good Bye Mr. Stumpf - you should not have committed foreclosure fraud on such a large scale.

Gandalf47
Gandalf47

Unfortunately, this law is NOT applied uniformly.  An employee of Wells Fargo who was married to my brother's step-daughter gained access to my elderly mother's account, which was quite substantial and "borrowed" $5,000 from it without her knowledge.  It was his intent to "borrow" the money, then put it back later, and my mother would never have know about it.  She is 88 and subscribes to a service that monitors her transactions and notified her of this "loan".  She called the person who "borrowed" the money, and he admitted it, and begged her not to tell Wells Fargo, but it was too great an amount to ignore, and was despicable, to boot.  She went through "the channels" at Wells Fargo, and the person was disciplined, his ability to to the same thing again was taken away, but HE WAS NOT FIRED OR REPORTED TO THE POLICE.  Wells Fargo somehow made an exception for this guy, even though 1) His act was willfully illegal, 2) He was an adult at the time, not a kid 3) The amount was 500,000 times as large as the person who lost his job.  My Mom, not wanting to cause a hardship within the family did not press the issue, since it was caught before she lost anything.  The only good thing that came out of it is that my niece-in-law divorced him and "took him to the cleaners" in the divorce.

But when Wells Fargo says, “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,” it just is not true.

Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/...

Mike Hosley
Mike Hosley

But the 25 billion they got from the government and used to buy other banks and did not lend out?  While small businesses crumbled? well, that's not a crime

Citigroup (NY): $45 billionAIG (NY): $40 billionJPMorgan Chase (NY): $25 billionBank of America/Merrill Lynch (NC): $25 billionWells Fargo (CA): $25 billionGeneral Motors (MI): $14 billionGoldman Sachs (NY): $10 billionMorgan Stanley (NY): $10 billionPNC Financial Services (PA): $7.58 billionU.S. Bancorp (MN): $6.6 billion

sallieb
sallieb

Like Wells Fargo is a paragon of rectitude - they've messed with a lot  more than 10 cents!

Gary Clark
Gary Clark

This is nothing new.Wells Fargo has been doing this for years.I know people that have been fired for ten year old bounced checks,and dui's.

Deb Murphy
Deb Murphy

My husband was one of them. He was fired for an 18 yr old check. He Paid it off immediately, never went to court, nor spent a day in jail. He forgot about it but it showed up on his background check years after he was hired. My husband did get an FDIC Waiver and is still employed by Wells.

Donna Zao
Donna Zao

“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.”Wells Fargo built a business model based on fraud and profited millions and millions dollars by defrauding its customers. Shouldn't Wells Fargo's top executives be laid off for dishonesty and breaching the trust? Truth is coming out.  Wells Fargo has systematically demonstrated dishonesty and breach of the trust against its customers.  Why no Wells Fargo top executives have been laid off yet according to regulations.  or the regulations simply don't apply to Wells Fargo top executives?Material facts: $243,000 underwater as soon as we signed Wells Fargo's loan contract before the ink dried. Attorney General suspended Wells Fargo hand-picked appraiser’s license for committing appraisal fraud on our home. Wells Fargo admitted that the mortgage loan shouldn’t be originated in the first place and promised to buy back its fraudulent loan in 2006. In 2010, despite our repeated plea and total cash payments of $350,000, Wells Fargo still chose to wrongfully foreclose our home. I confronted Wells Fargo CEO in person last year, asked him not to steal our home. He had policemen arrested me instead. www.wellsfargomortgagefraud.co...