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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."

Go deeper

What banks' booming profits say about the economy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some of America's biggest banks are making more money now than they were before the pandemic hit.

Why it matters: Quarterly earnings out this week hint that the worst economic scenarios haven't yet come to pass. Still, executives are warning there could be a rocky road ahead for the economy.

GOP research firm aims to hobble Biden nominees

Alejandro Mayorkas. Photo: Joshua Roberts/AFP via Getty Images

The Republican-aligned opposition research group America Rising is doing all it can to prevent President Biden from seating his top Cabinet picks.

Why it matters: After former President Trump inhibited the transition, Biden is hoping the Republican minority in Congress will cooperate with getting his team in place. Biden hadn't even been sworn in when America Rising began blasting opposition research to reporters targeting Janet Yellen and Alejandro Mayorkas.

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Jen Psaki: "With that I’d love to take your questions”

In her inaugural briefing as White House press secretary, Jen Psaki said she has a “deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy,” and pledged to hold daily briefings.

Why it matters: Conferences with the press secretary in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room became almost non-existent under the Trump administration. By sending Psaki to the podium hours after President Biden took the oath of office, the White House signaled a return to pre-Trump norms.