Former VP of Wells Fargo files whistleblower case and says supervisors knew of fake accounts

Marc Tupler, a former vice president at the Santa Fe Wells Fargo branch, says his superiors knew exactly what was happening when employees created millions of unauthorized accounts since 2011. He has also filed a lawsuit alleging that he was fired for raising the issue with his supervisors. His suit in state District Court alleges wrongful discharge, malicious breach of contract, and intentional infliction of mental and emotional distress.

Wells Fargo has paid $185 million in fines to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the city of Los Angeles. Tupler says that while he was employed at the Santa Fe bank from 2011 to 2014, the company implemented “a number of fraudulent schemes and/or scams “and unfair and deceptive business practices which, among other things, aggressively directed employees to fraudulently open multiple customer accounts to increase their cross-sell numbers and objectives.”

In some cases, Tupler says the bank used customer signatures already on file to forge documents to create new accounts without the customer’s knowledge.

In December 2014, Tupler’s supervisors revoked his authority to reverse fees and make other adjustments to appease customers, and his requests that his superiors address the complaints themselves “were either minimized, dismissed or rejected.” He was later fired.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.