Another day, more fraud at Wells Fargo. According to an internal memo acquired by Bloomberg, up to 125 employees at Wells Fargo have been fired for defrauding the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program put on by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The loan program was intended to provide up to $2 million in financial assistance to small businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19. However, David Galloreese, the Chief Human Resources Officer at Wells Fargo, said in a statement that between 100 to 125 of its employees received illegitimate loans from the program and put the funds into their own personal bank accounts instead of distributing to small businesses in need. Analysis of SBA loan data by Bloomberg in August identified at least $1.3 billion in suspicious payments, $250 million in grants given to deceased and potentially ineligible people, and up to $45.6 million in duplicate payments. The employees were fired for making false representations in applying for coronavirus relief funds for themselves. This is hardly surprising for Wells Fargo—of the most corrupt banks in the world. Wells Fargo has settled over 25 lawsuits related to fraud and corruption charges dating back to the 2008-2009 financial crisis totaling $45 billion in settlements—which is astonishing for a company of any size, but especially considering their $94.56 billion market cap. In 2016, for example, Wells Fargo settled a $3 billion lawsuit with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for allowing its employees to create millions of checking and savings accounts in the names of clients without their permission. Wells Fargo could have purchased nearly 20% of all the world's bitcoin with all the fines they have paid since 2009.

Bloomberg (Oct 14, 2020)