Wells Fargo fires dozens for alleged abuse of COVID relief program

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Wells Fargo says it’s fired workers who bilked a federal coronavirus relief program. A source tells CBS News that 100-125 workers were shown the door.

David Galloreese, head of the bank’s Human Resources department, said in an internal memo provided to CBS News that the workers “defrauded” the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

It was designed to aid companies hurt by the coronavirus shutdown.

The program offered grants of up to $10,000 for businesses impacted by the coronavirus. But Well Fargo says it discovered that some of its employees got loans from the program and put the funds into their personal accounts.

The Galloreese memo read in part, “Unfortunately, we have identified employees who we believe — outside of their work responsibilities — defrauded the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) by making false representations in applying for coronavirus relief funds for themselves through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which is administered directly through the SBA.

“We have terminated the employment of those individuals and will cooperate fully with law enforcement. These wrongful actions were personal actions, and do not involve our customers.

“We have zero tolerance for fraudulent behavior and will continue to look into these matters. If we identify additional wrongdoing by employees, we will take appropriate action.”

Last month, JPMorgan Chase fired several employees for allegedly pocketing EIDL funds.

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