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Egan writes: "Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and their colleagues urged Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a new letter to 'thoroughly investigate the culpability of senior executives' at Wells Fargo (WFC) in the fake account scandal that shocked America."

Senator Bernie Sanders. (photo: Ted Soqui)
Senator Bernie Sanders. (photo: Ted Soqui)


Bernie Sanders: Focus Wells Fargo Criminal Probe on Senior Execs

By Matt Egan, CNN

06 October 16

 

The cry for criminal charges to be slapped on the bigwigs at Wells Fargo continues to grow louder.

enators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and their colleagues urged Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a new letter to "thoroughly investigate the culpability of senior executives" at Wells Fargo (WFC) in the fake account scandal that shocked America.

As CNN previously reported, the Department of Justice has already launched a criminal investigation into Wells Fargo.

The 14 U.S. Senators warned Lynch on Monday, that Wells Fargo is a "critical test" of the DOJ's recent push to pursue bad behavior of individual executives, rather than just impose fines on the corporations they represent.

The lawmaker said they hope the DOJ "brings all the resources it has to bear" on investigating possible wrongdoing by "senior executives"

After the 2008 financial meltdown, "the American people watched as senior executives repeatedly escaped accountability" as no top Wall Street executives "went to prison or even faced prosecution," the letter said.

Wells Fargo didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

It's the latest example of high-profile lawmakers applying pressure on law enforcement to pursue charges against the top brass of Wells Fargo after the bank admitted to firing 5,300 employees over the creation of as many as 2 million unauthorized accounts.

Sanders previously sent a letter to regulators asking whether criminal investigations were going on. "Wall Street won't change until we make it clear that no bank is too big to fail and no CEO is too big to jail," Sanders wrote.

On Twitter, Sanders noted that "zero" people at Wells Fargo "are going to jail," yet "if you smoke marijuana in this country, you get a criminal record."

At last month's Senate hearing, Warren loudly slammed Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf for "gutless leadership" and demanded he step down and face criminal investigation from the DOJ and SEC.

The Senators specifically mention Stumpf as a potential target for criminal charges. The letter notes that Stumpf testified under oath that he became aware of employees creating fraudulent bank accounts in 2013. However, Stumpf did not disclose the issue to investors and continued to pitch Wells Fargo's "inflated" retail accounts numbers to Wall Street, the letter said.

"These facts raise questions about whether senior executives, including Mr. Stumpf, knowingly allowed illegal conduct to continue," the letter said.

Besides Warren and Sanders, the letter was signed by other U.S. Senators such as Al Franken, Richard Durbin, Patrick Leahy and Kirsten Gillibrand. All 14 signatures were from Democrats except for Angus King, the independent from Maine.

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+9 # PeacefulGarden 2016-10-06 16:22
They won't say it, they will never say "public banking".

A for profit banking system is inherently corrupt. Mr. Stumpf will be replace by Mr. Butterworth who will scam the system even more, get caught, and be replace by Mr. Dickweed, who will scam the system again, and on and on we go...

Why can't they say the words "public banking". Sanders is just another puppet now.
 
 
+3 # madame de farge 2016-10-07 16:55
Really there is NO reason for any state government to have contractual obligations with THESE THIEVES... The states should all have public banks....
 
 
+2 # LionMousePudding 2016-10-07 17:02
Post office
 
 
+12 # vilstef 2016-10-06 22:17
As they were saying in 2008, if a bank or other enterprise is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. Harry Truman was saying that about the insurance companies in the 30s.
 
 
+8 # lorenbliss 2016-10-07 00:38
Really, good people, be rational. Expecting anyone in the business of capitalist governance* to seriously prosecute their owners is like expecting Hitler's Third Reich to prosecute the SS for war crimes. As Audrey Lorde put it, "the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house."
_________
*Absolute power and unlimited profit for the One Percent and their Ruling Class vassals, total subjugation for all the rest of us.
 
 
+2 # RMDC 2016-10-07 08:12
Maybe I am just too cynical right now, but this smells like a campaign event. These prominent democrats and Hillary surrogates are making news by calling for prosecutions of the bad bank in this week's news. Very likely, some people will be led to believe that this is what a Hillary administration will be like.

Everything Sanders and Warren are saying is true -- banks won't change until there are prosecutions of CEOs for criminal acts. Paying a fine is just a cost of doing business.

We'll see what happens. I hope I am wrong in thinking this is just a campaign stunt. We will see.
 
 
+1 # Robbee 2016-10-07 08:45
Quoting RMDC:
Maybe I am just too cynical right now, but this smells like a campaign event. These prominent democrats and Hillary surrogates are making news by calling for prosecutions of the bad bank in this week's news. Very likely, some people will be led to believe that this is what a Hillary administration will be like.

Everything Sanders and Warren are saying is true -- banks won't change until there are prosecutions of CEOs for criminal acts. Paying a fine is just a cost of doing business.

... this is just a campaign stunt. We will see.

- what bernie and warren are calling for now is consistent with what bernie and warren have stood for all their lives

nothing less - expect nothing less in the future
 
 
+1 # bardphile 2016-10-07 13:27
What can we expect from the boss lady, though? The reluctant Hillary case I've been making on this site keeps getting weaker. Will she call on Sunday for breaking up WF and prosecuting its senior management? Or will she pull out her little pocket triangulator?
 
 
+2 # Auteur47 2016-10-07 13:27
I'll say it again. There isn't a whole lot to like about President Reagan's term. But at least his DOJ went after and imprisoned scores of crooked bankers in the S&L Crisis of the 1980's. (Neil Bush, Dubya's brother seemed to have slipped out of that one. Nice if your dad is VP.) On that score, regrettably, Reagan's legacy is a hell of a lot better than Obama's will be.
 

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