FYI-Wachovia customers beware

dreamgardenFebruary 6, 2008

This is in the New York Times. Pretty bad behavior from the 4th largest bank in the country.

The New York Times

February 6, 2008

Papers Show Wachovia Knew of Thefts


Last spring, Wachovia bank was accused in a lawsuit of allowing fraudulent telemarketers to use the bankâÂÂs accounts to steal millions of dollars from unsuspecting victims. When asked about the suit, bank executives said they had been unaware of the thefts.

But newly released documents from that lawsuit now show that Wachovia had long known about allegations of fraud and that the bank, in fact, solicited business from companies it knew had been accused of telemarketing crimes.

Internal Wachovia e-mail, for example, show that high-ranking employees at the nationâÂÂs fourth-largest bank frequently warned colleagues about telemarketing frauds routed through its accounts.

Documents also show that Wachovia was alerted by other banks and federal agencies about ongoing deceptions, but that it continued to provide banking services to multiple companies that helped steal as much as $400 million from unsuspecting victims.

âÂÂYIKES!!!!â wrote one Wachovia executive in 2005, warning colleagues that an account used by telemarketers had drawn 4,500 complaints in just two months. âÂÂDOUBLE YIKES!!!!â she added. âÂÂThere is more, but nothing more that I want to put into a note.âÂÂ

However, Wachovia continued processing fraudulent transactions for that account and others, partly because the bank charged fraud artists a large fee every time a victim spotted a bogus transaction and demanded their money back. One company alone paid Wachovia about $1.5 million over 11 months, according to investigators.

âÂÂWe are making a ton of money from them,â wrote Linda Pera, a Wachovia executive, in 2005 about a company that was later accused by federal prosecutors of helping steal up to $142 million.

Ms. Pera left Wachovia in 2006, and could not be located.

A link that might be useful:

*The link is too long to post, but if you google "Papers Show Wachovia Knew of Thefts", it will pop right up.

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Even more ironic, Wachovia recently was plastering advertising all over one of the local subway stations, touting themselves as "Rated #1 in customer satisfaction!"

I guess it was the telemarketers who ranked them so highly, LOL.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 4:29PM
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The smell of money sure does warp some folks' sense of integrity.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 5:44AM
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