State prosecutors in California are investigating Wells Fargo on allegations of criminal identity theft and false impersonation, opening up another front in the scandal over faked accounts at the bank. …
In an affidavit, James Hirt, special agent supervisor in the California Department of Justice, wrote: “There is probable cause to believe that employees of Wells Fargo Bank unlawfully accessed the bank’s computer system to obtain the PII [personally identifiable information] of customers.
“The bank’s employees then used the unlawfully obtained customers’ PII to commit false impersonation and identity theft by opening unauthorised accounts, credit cards, and various other products that resulted in the accumulation of fees and charges for Wells Fargo.”
That’s nice. But aren’t the Feds supposed to do something?
It’s hard to find a more clear-cut case of securities fraud. Stumpf verbally praised cross-selling metrics to investors when he, by his own admission, knew that those metrics were flawed, underwritten by fake accounts. He never corrected the record, and Wells Fargo to this day has never changed a word of its SEC filings. …
If the SEC and the Justice Department don’t get involved here, they might as well not even exist. … Attorney General Loretta Lynch, if she wants to emerge from wherever she’s been hiding on this issue, has enough information to bring cases.
Will President Barack Obama’s administration end its tenure as it began, by refusing to prosecute systemic fraud in the financial markets? That’s the unavoidable conclusion so far.
He has 90 days to prove them wrong. I’m not holding my breath.