Wells Fargo Fires More Than 100 Employees For Alleged Coronavirus Relief Fraud

Wells Fargo has fired more than 100 employees whom it states personally defrauded a pandemic relief program from the Small Organization Administration.

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Wells Fargo has fired more than 100 workers whom it says personally defrauded a pandemic relief program from the Small Business Administration.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

The SBAs Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provided advances of as much as $10,000 that did not need to be repaid.

“We have actually ended the employment of those people and will work together completely with law enforcement. These wrongful actions were individual actions, and do not include our consumers,” wrote David Galloreese, head of personnels at Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo has actually fired more than 100 workers, stating they personally defrauded a coronavirus relief program from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

In July, the SBAs inspector general provided a memo flagging “serious issues” of prospective scams in the program. A review of the programs initial disaster action identified $250 million in loans and advance grants provided to potentially disqualified receivers, and $45.6 million in potentially replicate payments.

In August, Bloomberg Businessweek analyzed SBA data and discovered at least $1 billion in suspicious payments.

The variety of workers who have been fired is in between 100 and 125, a Wells Fargo staff member with understanding of the circumstance informed NPR. Wells Fargo took and started the investigation action when the scams was identified, the employee said. The examination is continuous.

Wells Fargo isnt the first bank to discover apparent abuse of government programs among its personnel. Last month, JP Morgan Chase discovered that more than 500 of its workers had gotten help from pandemic relief programs, including lots who had actually done so incorrectly, Bloomberg reported.

The abuse of such programs is certainly not limited to workers at banks– but unlike other companies, banks are able to see whether relief funds have actually been deposited into their workers accounts, as Bloomberg reported. The SBA has actually encouraged banks to inspect for suspicious deposits from the catastrophe loan program, whether among consumers or staff.

“We have zero tolerance for fraudulent habits and will continue to check out these matters. If we determine additional misbehavior by staff members, we will take suitable action,” he included.

The workers actions were beyond their work duties, the company said.

In a memo sent out Wednesday and gotten by NPR, the company stated it had actually determined staff members that it believes made incorrect representations in getting relief funds through the SBAs Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.