Thread regarding Wells Fargo & Co. layoffs

Execs Turning on One Another

Wells Fargo Head of Consumer Lending fired after the person he fired for mortgage fraud turns around and tattle tales on him for saying that misconduct in the bank, is not a concern, and that the regulators were picky for doing their job and calling them out for fraud.

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A Wells Fargo banker who was let go for his role in a mortgage-pricing scam turned around and ratted out his superior for trashing regulators during his exit interview.

The dismissed banker, Greg Gwizdz, told Wells Fargo that Franklin Codel, the bank’s head of consumer lending, made disparaging remarks about banking regulators, sources said.

Codel blamed regulators for squeezing Gwizdz’s golden parachute.

Wells passed along Gwizdz’s information to regulators — and on Friday the bank said it had fired Codel because of “improper communications.

“The company said the dismissal was the result of Codel’s acting in a manner that was contrary to the company’s policies and expectations of its senior leaders during a communication he had with a former team member regarding that team member’s earlier termination,” Wells Fargo said in a statement.

While Gwizdz, a 26-year veteran of the bank, had no problem with tattling on his former superior, the dismissed banker was no Boy Scout.

Gwizdz was let go in June, along with at least two other bankers, who were connected to a scam where the bank would push mortgage customers to accept fees, or higher rates, by improperly delaying the loan process.

The scandal has led to regulatory investigations and class-action lawsuits against the bank.

Tom Goyda, a Wells Fargo spokesman, confirmed that the “rate lock extension did play a role” in Gwizdz’ ouster.

Gwizdz and Codel could not be reached for comment.

While it’s unclear exactly what Codel told Gwizdz or when, it reportedly had to do with regulators scrutinizing executives’ severance, and other kinds of compensation, after they were let go.

Golden parachutes have become controversial, and some banks have moved to claw back cash payments made to sullied bankers on their departures.

Gwizdz’s comments appear to have given him his chance for revenge.

“As a result of his dismissal, Franklin Codel will not receive his unvested equity awards per the terms of the grants,” Goyda told The Post.

The firing is the latest public embarrassment for Wells, which has faced more than a year of revelations about its sales practices.

Last year, the bank settled with government regulators over millions of phony accounts and credit cards — a scandal that led directly to the resignation of Chief Executive John Stumpf.

Regulators are also investigating claims that the bank pushed its auto customers to buy insurance they didn’t need, and improperly forced people to pay more for home loans through phony delays.

Tim Sloan, the bank’s current CEO, has apologized for the company’s actions.

“Difficult as this situation is, the decision reflects our commitment to our values and culture and to executive accountability,” Sloan said in a statement.

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put them all in a federal prison for thanksgiving

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Apparently executives already fired have sued the bank tattling on the ones who are still there who they say were doing misconduct themselves that are even worse. Yikes!

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Two former regional presidents who oversaw Wells Fargo branches across Southern California say they were wrongfully blamed and fired for promoting unethical sales practices — something the pair say they unsuccessfully tried to get their superiors to address.

Reza Razzaghipour and Marla Razzaghipour, who are married, were quietly dismissed in March, just a few weeks after Wells Fargo publicly fired several higher-ranking executives over their roles in the bank’s sham-accounts scandal.

The Razzaghipours say they complained about and reported bad practices — including the opening of unauthorized accounts — but were fired anyway, both because they complained and because the bank “needed to scapegoat certain management to appease regulators, its board of directors and/or the public,” according to the suit.

In the suit, filed Thursday in Los Angeles, the Razzaghipours allege that several higher-ups knew about or promoted illegal conduct and that some of those executives were able to keep their jobs, including former Los Angeles-area executive David DiCristofaro, who is still with the bank but in a different role.

DiCristofaro knew about and encouraged illegal practices, including so-called “simulated funding” — the practice of making a new sham account look legitimate by transferring money from a customer’s existing account, the lawsuit alleges.

“Wells Fargo knew this, yet gave DiCristofaro a promotion while scapegoating the whistleblower plaintiffs by terminating their employment,” the lawsuit says. The Razzaghipours also allege that DiCristofaro engaged in illegal age, gender and s-xual orientation discrimination and that Marla Razzaghipour was fired in part for complaining.

The suit also names former John Sotoodeh, a former Los Angeles regional president who now has a different position within the bank, and alleges he encouraged illegal conduct. An internal bank investigation, the results of which were published in April, noted that Sotoodeh was in charge of the Los Angeles market when it became “the epicenter of the simulated funding phenomenon.”

Bank spokesman Paul Gomez denied the allegations and said DiCristofaro and Sotoodeh could not comment.

“The termination decisions were not retaliatory as alleged in the complaint,” Gomez said in an email. “The company terminated the employment of these two individuals for legitimate and lawful reasons.”

The Razzaghipours are suing Wells Fargo for wrongful termination, retaliation and defamation, accusing the bank and a spokeswoman of smearing them as untrustworthy in a statement released to the Los Angeles Times and other publications.

In response to an inquiry from The Times, a spokeswoman provided a statement, cited in the lawsuit, confirming the Razzaghipours were no longer with the bank but declining to comment on whether they had resigned or been fired. The statement went on to say that Wells Fargo was “focused on ensuring we have the right people and leaders in place to rebuild trust and build a better bank.”

The Razzaghipours say the statement implied they were “untrustworthy and responsible for Wells Fargo’s fake account, simulated funding and/or other illegal conduct.”

Wells Fargo faces several lawsuits related to the sham-accounts scandal and other practices that have been uncovered over the last year. But based on a review of court records, the Razzaghipours’ suit appears to be the first such case filed by any of the handful of Wells Fargo executives who recently have been fired by the bank.

Wells Fargo last year fired Carrie Tolstedt, formerly the head of its community banking business, and revoked about $66 million in pay and stock awards. The bank’s internal report pinned much of the blame for the bank’s overbearing sales culture and the creation of unauthorized accounts on Tolstedt. An attorney for Tolstedt challenged the report’s findings.

In February, the bank announced it had fired and withheld bonuses from four additional community banking executives: Shelley Freeman, former Los Angeles regional president and later the head of consumer credit solutions; Pamela Conboy, Arizona lead regional president; Matthew Raphaelson, head of community bank strategy and initiatives; and Claudia Russ Anderson, former community bank chief risk officer.

The Razzaghipours were fired the following month. Reza Razzaghipour, who had worked for Wells Fargo since 2000, according to the suit, oversaw bank operations in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, Bakersfield, Santa Clarita and the West San Fernando Valley. Marla Razzaghipour had worked for the bank since 1994, according to the suit, and oversaw branch operations in parts of the San Fernando Valley, Hollywood and the South Bay.

They’re seeking damages of at least $50 million, saying the bank’s practices have cost them money and job prospects and caused emotional distress, depression and anxiety.

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Of course all the execs knew what was going on and were/are covering for each other. Sloan was COO when the fake account fraud was going on. How can he not have known. Putting him in Stumpf's place is just a way to keep the cover up going as long as possible, until he gets hit and walks away with his hundreds of millions. Meanwhile thousands of more layoffs as they try to recoup what they are paying out in settlements, legal and PR fees, and loss of business.

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The same sharks that carried out mortgage fraud in the late nineties to mid 2000's (year) are still in play in the mortgage arena. They never left the industry. Wait till the next crisis hits. It's going to be worse than before, IMHO.

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Amen

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Thieves turning on one another on a dime for a dime. I guess they saying "honor among thieves" doesn't apply.

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