Over a 5+ year period Wells Fargo opened 3.5 million fraudulent bank accounts and credit cards for customers who didn’t ask for them, engaging in fraud, identify theft, and forgery without the bank’s customers knowing.
Wells Fargo forced its defrauded customers into mandatory arbitration that prevented them from seeking legal redress. Wells Fargo fought with the customers it defrauded every step of the way.
The bank was fined $185 million in early September 2016 due to the creation of over 1.5 million unauthorized deposit accounts and over 500,000 credit-card accounts between 2011 and 2016. Later estimates, released in May 2017, placed the number of fraudulent accounts at closer to a total of 3,500,000. The bank also paid $110 million to settle a class action suit.