Federal Prosecutors In Manhattan Launch Another Wells Fargo Criminal Investigation Over Its Sham Hiring Practices
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have launched another Wells Fargo criminal investigation.
Investigators say they are investigating bank managers who conducted sham interviews with minority and female candidates. Bank managers allegedly interviewed minority candidates for roles that were already filled. The bank did this in order to boost the bank’s diversity statistics.
The new civil rights unit within the criminal division of the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office is handling the investigation.
The New York Times reported that former bank employees came forward. Bank executives allegedly told employees to conduct interviews with black candidates for positions that had already been filed.
The Bank Fired An Executive For Standing Up!
The bank fired executive Joe Bruno last August. He blew the whistle about the bank’s alleged fake interviews. He also told the New York Times the interviews were ‘inappropriate, morally wrong, ethically wrong’
Executives allegedly instructed Bruno to conduct interviews with black candidates for financial adviser positions. This is despite the fact that he or his superiors had already picked someone for that job.
Bruno told the Times at a certain point he refused to conduct the interviews.
Bruno is just one of seven bank employees that claim their bosses instructed them to perform sham interviews.
Five other people also came forward. The also said they were aware of the practice. Some took part in arranging the interviews.
Employees state the interviews were a ploy to boost the bank’s diversity efforts in anticipation of possible regulatory audits.
The claims come two years after CEO Charles W. Scharf pledged to increase diversity following the murder of George Floyd in June 2020.
CEO Charles W. Scharf immediately announced that the bank would be putting a pause to diversity hiring policy.
The bank has been in legal hot water regarding diversity before.
The Bank paid an $8 million settlement to the Department of Labor in August 2020. The bank allegedly discriminated against more than 30,000 black applicants.
The court ordered Wells Fargo to pay 320 black financial advisors roughly $36 million. They claimed Wells Fargo denied them the opportunity to win new clients or partner with white financial advisers.
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