A 68-year-old Vietnam veteran who wore suspenders and plaid shirts to his job at an Iowa Wells Fargo was recently fired for fraud. The thing is, Richard Eggers’ fraud was a stunt he committed nearly half a century ago when he took a piece of cardboard and tried to trick the washing machine at a laundromat into accepting it as a dime.
He was convicted in 1963 of “operating a coin changing machine by false means,” according to Victor Epstein at the DesMoinesRegister.
When his employers at Wells Fargo found out about his criminal background, they decided to fire him from his $29,795 salaried job where he’d been a customer service representative for the past seven years.
“It was a stupid stunt and I’m not real proud of it, but to fire somebody for something like this after seven good years of employment is a dirty trick when you come right down to it,” Eggers told Epstein. “And they’re doing this kind of thing all across the country.”
Eggers isn’t the only one losing his job.
The Huffington Post reports that a federal banking guideline adopted earlier this year has resulted in thousands of employees losing their jobs.
“The tougher standards are meant to weed out executives and mid-level bank employees guilty of transactional crimes, like identity fraud or mortgage fraud. But they are being applied across-the-board thanks to $1-million-a day fines for noncompliance.”
Here’s the response we received from Wells Fargo:
“We understand the outpouring of concern for Mr. Eggers and we want people to know that we take this matter very seriously. Wells Fargo is an insured depository institution, a global bank, bound by US Federal law (Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act) to protect our customers and their personal financial information from someone who we know has committed an act of dishonesty or breach of trust — regardless of when the incidents occurred. It is uncomfortable, but it is a law that we have to follow. We have the responsibility to avoid hiring or continuing to employ someone who we know has a criminal record.”
“When we found out about Mr. Eggers situation we began working with him immediately to help him learn about steps that he could take to make him eligible for reemployment at a financial institution. Specifically, he and any other workers in this situation can apply to the FDIC for written permission to work at a financial institution despite the existence of the disqualifying conviction. We connected Mr. Eggers with a FDIC case manager and hopefully they can pursue next steps.”
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