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Wells Fargo Aid in Fraudulent Schemes, Credit Card Laundering Class Action

This class action alleges that Wells Fargo & Company and Wells Fargo Bank have knowingly facilitated fraud on consumers. The complaint alleges the company has knowingly provided “substantial assistance to three multi-million-dollar fraudulent schemes” from three entities that offered consumers trials of certain products, then charged them full price and enrolled them in “continuity programs” where the products were shipped to them again every month. The complaint alleges Wells Fargo provided them with more than 150 accounts for shell companies that were necessary for the scheme.

The class for this action are the persons who signed up and paid for any of the Triangle Media Corporation, Apex Capital Group, and Tarr, Inc. fraudulent “free-trial” schemes.

According to the complaint, the three entities offered consumers supposedly “risk-free” trials of supplements and personal-care products. The consumers were to pay for “just the costs of shipping and handling” for the products.

But the companies took their payment information, the complaint alleges, then charged the consumers for the full cost of the products (around $90) and enrolled them in “continuity programs” where the products were shipped to them again every month. The complaint claims the schemes “were incredibly successful, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars from consumers.”

Part of the schemes involved getting unrelated people to permit the use of their names and identities to set up shell companies. These fake companies then opened what the complaint estimates as around 150 accounts with Wells Fargo.

The complaint claims that the enterprises were able to get accounts with the processors while concealing their own identities, through the use of the shell companies, a process known as “credit card laundering,” which is used to by fraudulent merchants to evade monitoring and law enforcement.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed lawsuits against all three entities between 2017 and 2018 and shut them down. But according to the receiver for Triangle and Apex, the complaint says, e-mails between the entities and Wells Fargo show that Wells Fargo knew about the schemes.

According to the complaint, “Wells Fargo bankers were aware of the Receiver Enterprises’ risk-free trial schemes, understood the people listed as ‘owners’ of the Wells Fargo accounts did not actually own or control them, and knew the Receiver Enterprises were engaged in credit card laundering.” Wells Fargo, it said, “aided their frauds by providing them with lax oversight and atypical banking services, widely deviating from accepted banking standards and violating applicable banking laws and regulations.”

The complaint reproduces an e-mail with one nervous person who agreed to let his and his mother’s names be used for the shell company accounts. It responds to his concerns about his mother’s possibly being contacted by saying, “Dude, you still don’t understand how [W]ells is totally different. The bank won’t be calling her.”

The causes of action include aiding and abetting fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud, among other things.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Wells Fargo Aid in Fraudulent Schemes, Credit Card Laundering Complaint

July 8, 2021

This class action alleges that Wells Fargo & Company and Wells Fargo Bank have knowingly facilitated fraud on consumers. The complaint alleges the company has knowingly provided “substantial assistance to three multi-million-dollar fraudulent schemes” from three entities that offered consumers trials of certain products, then charged them full price and enrolled them in “continuity programs” where the products were shipped to them again every month. The complaint alleges Wells Fargo provided them with more than 150 accounts for shell companies that were necessary for the scheme.

Wells Fargo Aid in Fraudulent Schemes, Credit Card Laundering Complaint

Case Event History

Wells Fargo Aid in Fraudulent Schemes, Credit Card Laundering Complaint

July 8, 2021

This class action alleges that Wells Fargo & Company and Wells Fargo Bank have knowingly facilitated fraud on consumers. The complaint alleges the company has knowingly provided “substantial assistance to three multi-million-dollar fraudulent schemes” from three entities that offered consumers trials of certain products, then charged them full price and enrolled them in “continuity programs” where the products were shipped to them again every month. The complaint alleges Wells Fargo provided them with more than 150 accounts for shell companies that were necessary for the scheme.

Wells Fargo Aid in Fraudulent Schemes, Credit Card Laundering Complaint
Tags: Credit Card Laundering, Criminal Conspiracy, Fraud