New Yorkers who have been following the ongoing reports about Wells Fargo might be interested in learning that a third lawsuit has been filed against the company for falling stock values. The ERISA lawsuit is seeking class-action certification and was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.
The lawsuit alleges that Wells Fargo executives in charge of overseeing the bank's retirement plan through which it offers stock to employees as an investment knew about the bank's aggressive and questionable sales tactics before they were publicly disclosed. The plaintiffs allege that because they had this knowledge, the executives should have removed Wells Fargo stock as an investment option.
Wells Fargo's stock has dropped by about 15 percent from where it was one year ago, and as a result, the value of these retirement plans has decreased as well. The bank is facing civil fines of nearly $200 million, and additional penalties are likely. According to the complaint, the executives could have stopped the purchases of Wells Fargo stock without violating insider-trading laws.
Among the numerous stories from employees of Wells Fargo relating to the unlawful sales procedures that ended up with the resignation of the CEO are stories about many being fired for exercising their employee rights to complain about unethical behavior on the part of their superiors. When employees exercise their rights, employers are forbidden from retaliating against them. People who have complained about illegal or unethical work practices at their jobs and who have suffered retaliation might want to consult with employment law attorneys to see what remedies might be available to them.
Source: Plan Adviser, "Third Wells Fargo ERISA stock drop complaint filed," John Manganaro, Oct. 25, 2016