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Matthew Walles v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A



Case Number: 3:2020cv01203

Date Filed: July 23, 2020


  • Case Summary: When indications of fraud, such as counterfeit checks or unauthorized withdrawals, appear on a customer's account, it is legally required for a bank to conduct an investigation to determine if criminal activity has taken place. However, Wells Fargo allegedly took a different approach, as claimed by a former employee named Matthew Valles, who worked as a fraud investigator for the bank in Portland, Ore. Valles asserts that he was terminated in January as a form of retaliation for reporting numerous mishandled fraud investigations within the bank. In response to this situation, Valles filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo and his former manager, alleging a violation of whistle-blower laws. This legal action, coupled with numerous customer complaints filed with a federal regulator currently investigating the bank's handling of fraud cases, adds to the mounting issues faced by Wells Fargo. The Federal Reserve had previously criticized the bank for "widespread consumer abuses" in February and prohibited it from expanding until these issues were addressed. ○ Many Wells Fargo customers have raised concerns about the bank's swift action to freeze or close accounts upon detecting signs of fraud, even when the customers themselves reported suspicious activities. The consumer bureau's complaints database contains multiple reports from disgruntled customers whose accounts were closed after falling victim to fraud. Some customers unknowingly deposited fraudulent checks and subsequently had their accounts terminated, often with limited warning or explanation. This abrupt account closure can temporarily restrict customers' access to their funds and make it more challenging for them to recover any lost money.

  • Judgment Result: Notice of Removal filed by Wells Fargo Bank on July 30, 2020

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