Brian Browdie, American Banker

Wells Fargo (WFC) has been acquitted by a jury of giving kickbacks to a real estate firm in exchange for mortgage business.

A group of homeowners who sued the nation’s fourth-biggest bank and the real estate firm Long & Foster real estate failed to prove that Wells Fargo funneled referral fees to Long & Foster, a Maryland jury found Friday.

The verdict ended a class-action lawsuit filed in 2007 with the U.S. District Court in Baltimore by homeowners who obtained mortgages from Prosperity Mortgage, an entity the homeowners alleged that Wells Fargo and Long & Foster formed to facilitate the collection of fees and payments.

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