Wells Fargo Fires More Than 100 Employees For Covid Relief Fund Abuse

Wells Fargo has fired more than 100 employees for improperly applying for federal coronavirus relief money, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, joining JPMorgan, which also has fired workers for misusing the same loan program.

According to an internal memo obtained by Forbes, employees made “false representations in applying for coronavirus relief funds for themselves,” said HR head David Galloreese.

Workers are accused of defrauding the Small Business Administration by tapping the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which allows businesses to apply for a forgivable $10,000 grant and borrow up to $2 million.

The memo said the alleged abuse happened outside the employees’ roles at the bank.

Galloreese said Wells Fargo would cooperate with law enforcement, though it’s unclear if the bank is already under investigation.

The move comes after JP Morgan found dozens of employees allegedly accessed EIDL relief funds improperly, and fired employees because of it, CBS News reported.

Crucial Quote

“As a company, we are vigilant in detecting fraud. While these instances of wrongdoing are extremely unfortunate and disappointing, they are not representative of the high integrity of the vast majority of Wells Fargo employees,” the memo says.

Key Background

Wells Fargo’s list of scandals keeps growing. CEO Charles Scharf apologized last month for blaming the bank’s trouble reaching diversity goals on a “limited pool of Black talent.” Wells Fargo has been sued multiple times for discriminatory lending practices, which the bank has denied. And the bank has paid billions to settle both criminal and civil charges related to the infamous fake account scandal, which resulted in former CEO John Stumpf being banned from the banking industry altogether. Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

Rachel Sandler

 Rachel Sandler

I’m a San Francisco-based reporter covering breaking news at Forbes. I’ve previously reported for USA Today, Business Insider, The San Francisco Business Times and San Jose Inside. I studied journalism at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and was an editor at The Daily Orange, the university’s independent student newspaper. Follow me on Twitter @rachsandl or shoot me an email rsandler@forbes.com.


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