Lawsuit: Wells Fargo banker fired for not scamming customers

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — A New Jersey woman has sued Wells Fargo Bank, saying she was fired for refusing to participate in a scheme to manipulate accounts and sell products that weren’t in customers’ best interest.

Melinda Bini filed a lawsuit in state court in New Jersey on April 5 against the bank and three supervisors from the branch she worked at in Highland Park, NJ.com reported (http://bit.ly/2oOOyLJ ).

In the lawsuit, Bini accused her superiors of running or knowing about the scheme and says she was retaliated against and later fired for refusing to participate. Bini, a former assistant vice-president and regional private banker, is seeking her job back and damages.

Wells Fargo paid $185 million in fines to federal and local authorities after it acknowledged that its employees opened as many as 2 million checking and credit card accounts without customers’ authorization.

Kevin Friedlander, a spokesman for the bank, said the company doesn’t tolerate retaliation against employees who express their concerns.

“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,” Friedlander said.

Friedlander said the supervisors are still employed, but he wasn’t able to comment further on the allegations because it was an ongoing legal matter.

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