Wells Fargo exec was fired for not scamming N.J. customers, lawsuit says

Wells Fargo exec was fired for not scamming N.J. customers, lawsuit says

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NEW BRUNSWICK — A Somerset County woman is suing Wells Fargo Bank alleging she was fired for refusing to participate in an alleged scheme similar to the bank’s widespread account scam that led to millions of dollars in federal fines.

Melinda Bini, a former assistant vice president and regional private banker at the Highland Park bank’s branch, says in a recent lawsuit that supervisors instructed her to manipulate accounts and sell banking products or investments that were not the customers’ best interest or without their knowledge.

The lawsuit, filed in Middlesex County Superior Court on April 5, names Wells Fargo and three local bank supervisors.

The Franklin Park woman accuses her former superiors in the suit of running or knowing about alleged banking and investment fraud scheme at the local branch.

A spokesman for Wells Fargo, Kevin Friedlander, said the three supervisors named in the lawsuit are still employed by the bank, but did not comment on the allegations.

“Since this is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to comment any further on the lawsuit,” Friedlander said in an emailed statement.

Bini, who is a licensed financial advisor hired by the bank in 2002, refused to participate the “unlawful and unethical banking” and was harassed in retaliation, according to the suit.

In April 2016, Bini was fired, a move she said was manufactured by her supervisors for not joining the alleged scheme, according to the suit.

“Wells Fargo does not tolerate retaliation against team members who report their concerns,” Friedlander said. “Our non-retaliation policy makes clear that no team member may be retaliated against for providing information about suspected unethical or illegal activities or possible violations of any Wells Fargo policies.”

Wells Fargo, the second-largest banking institution in New Jersey, was fined $100 million in September 2016 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for using fake emails to sign up current customers for additional accounts without their consent.

The bank eventually fired more than 5,000 employees for enrolling customers illegally as a way to meet their sales quotas.

The lawsuit seeks Bini’s reinstatement at the bank and damages.

Craig McCarthy may be reached at CMcCarthy@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @createcraig and on Facebook here. Find NJ.com on Facebook

Top Bank Fraud Expert: ALL of the Big Banks’ Profits Come from FRAUD

Top Bank Fraud Expert: ALL of the Big Banks’ Profits Come from FRAUD

The country’s top white collar crime expert, William Black – who put over 1,000 top S&L executives in jail for fraud, and is a  professor of law and economics at the University of Missouri – confirmed recently what the alternative media has been saying for years:  the business plan of Wall Street is fraud. That’s their key profit center.

Black also says that a British parliamentary investigation Tories found that all of the retail profits of the largest banks in the UK came from fraud.

Indeed, the big banks manipulate every single market … and routinely engage in criminal acts.

Who cares?

Well, experts say that we have to prosecute fraud or else the economy won’t EVER really recover and stabilize.

But the government is doing the exact opposite. Indeed, the Justice Department has announced it will go easy on big banks, and always settles prosecutions for pennies on the dollar (a form of stealth bailout. It is also arguably one of the main causes of the double dip in housing.)

Indeed, the government doesn’t even force the banks to admit any criminal guilt as part of their settlements. In fact:

The banks have been allowed to investigate themselves,” one source familiar with the investigation told Reuters. “The investigated decide what they want to investigate, what they admit to, and how much they will pay.