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OCC Begins Public Civil Trial Against Former Wells Fargo Execs

A civil trial began on Monday (Sept. 13) against three former Wells Fargo executives for their alleged roles in the bank’s misconduct scandal, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced.

The OCC’s public hearing before an administrative law judge in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, against Claudia Russ Anderson, former community bank group risk officer; David Julian, former chief auditor; and Paul McLinko, former executive audit director of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Sioux Falls, allege that the three executives are accountable “for material failures in risk management and for consumer harm.”

See also: Ex-Wells CEO Fined, Banned From Banking For Life

The charges allege their failure to “adequately perform” their duties added to Wells Fargo’s “systemic sales practices misconduct problem” that stretched from 2002-16. The OCC further accuses Anderson of making false statements to the agency and obstructing its investigation.

Misconduct within sales practices allegedly included management’s setting of unrealistic sales quotas, steep pressure on employees to hit quotas and lack of controls to spot and stop misconduct.

The OCC is seeking to bar Anderson from working in the banking industry and curtail the banking involvement of Julian and McLinko. The OCC is also seeking civil money penalties against each individual in amounts “consistent with the law and evidence presented during the proceedings.”

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Wells Fargo was hit with a $500 million civil fine by the OCC in 2018 for “safe or unsound practices.” Wells Fargo was also ordered to make restitution to the consumers harmed.

Earlier this month, the bank agreed to pay a $250 million fine after the OCC charged Wells Fargo with failing to improve oversight of its mortgage business and fix decades of internal lapses.

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