Oct 14, 2020 - Economy

Wells Fargo fires over 100 employees for fraudulently applying for COVID-19 relief funds

Wells Fargo.

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Wells Fargo has fired between 100 and 125 employees whom the company believes defrauded the Small Business Administration by applying for and receiving coronavirus relief funds for themselves, according to an internal memo obtained by Axios.

  • More terminations could be on the way, as a source familiar with the situation told Axios an investigation into the matter is ongoing.

What happened: The firings, first reported by Bloomberg, come after the employees received the money through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which is reserved for small businesses and nonprofits. They applied for the loans outside of their work responsibilities, per the memo.

  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. found that 500 of its employees applied for the same loan, and that dozens did so improperly, Bloomberg reported last month.

What they're saying: "We have terminated the employment of those individuals and will cooperate fully with law enforcement," wrote David Galloreese, head of Wells Fargo Human Resources, in the memo. "These wrongful actions were personal actions, and do not involve our customers."

  • "While these instances of wrongdoing are extremely unfortunate and disappointing, they are not representative of the high integrity of the vast majority of Wells Fargo employees."
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