Category Archives: Crime

Lawyers: Wells Fargo Created About 3.5 Million Fake Accounts

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Lawyers suing Wells Fargo on behalf of aggrieved customers say the bank may have opened about 3.5 million unauthorized accounts, far more than the figure bank and regulators disclosed last year.

In a court filing late Thursday, lawyers representing customers told a federal judge in San Francisco that they believe bank workers created 3.5 million unauthorized accounts over the last 15 years, “based on public information, negotiations, and confirmatory discovery.” The bank had put the total at about 2 million possibly unauthorized accounts.

Bank spokesman Ruben Pulido said the new claim was unverified and only an estimation.

“The unauthorized account numbers reported in the filing are estimates made by plaintiffs’ attorneys based on a hypothetical scenario and have not been verified,” Pulido said. “The number of unauthorized accounts estimated in the filing do not reflect actual unauthorized accounts.”

Pulido declined further comment and the bank has not disclosed its own revised estimation.

The bank said last month said an internal review showed bogus accounts opening as far back as 2002.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo has seen declines in new account openings and bank traffic, and has been working to restore customers’ trust since the practices came to light. The biggest scandal in the bank’s history led to the abrupt retirement of its CEO, John Stumpf. In response to the scandal, Wells has changed its sales practices, ousted other executives and called tens of millions of customers to check on whether they truly opened the accounts in question.

The bank initially agreed to pay $110 million to settle claims dating back to 2009. But it agreed to add $32 million to the settlement to include claims starting in May 2002.

The new estimate was based on the expanded time frame and was included as part the customers’ lawyers request that the judge approve the proposed settlement.

A hearing is scheduled for next week.

After paying attorneys’ fees, the $142 million will first go to cover any customers’ out-of-pocket losses or fees that they may have incurred due to the unauthorized accounts. All remaining money will be split among the all affected customers.

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Police: Mom Tried To Kill Kids, Commit Suicide

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Hoffman Estates woman has been charged with trying to kill her two children, before apparently attempting suicide on Tuesday.

Police said officers responding to a well-being check Tuesday afternoon at an apartment in the 1000 block of Atlantic Avenue found the door blocked, but were able to get inside, where they found 38-year-old Tracy Johnson lying on the floor.

Mugshot of Tracy Johnson, charged with two counts of attempted murder for allegedly trying to asphyxiate her two children.

Tracy Johnson is charged with two counts of attempted murder for allegedly trying to asphyxiate her two children. (Source: Hoffman Estates Police)

The officers smelled natural gas in the home, and called the Hoffman Estates Fire Department, according to police.

Investigators said they found the 2-year-old boy stumbling and incoherent and his 5-year-old sister unconscious.

Johnson and her children were taken to St. Alexius Medical Center.

Prosecutors said Johnson wanted to kill herself because she was angry with her ex, but she did not want her children to go to their father. So, she allegedly crushed drugs into the children’s smoothies and tied bags on their heads with rope.

“She said her mommy told her that she was going to put a plastic bag over her head,” said Maria McCarthy Assistant State’s Attorney. “The 5-year old also said that one night mommy put a pillow over her and her brother’s head and squeezed tight because she was angry and said her brother’s father was not nice.”

Police said investigators determined Johnson tried to kill her children “by asphyxiation” and then tried to kill herself. She has been charged with two counts of attempted murder.

Johnson is now being held on a $2-million bond.