Search Warrant: Criminal Probe Launched Against Wells Fargo on Allegations of Identity Theft Over Bogus Accounts
California attorney general investigating Wells Fargo on allegations of criminal identity theft
The California Department of Justice is investigating Wells Fargo & Co. on allegations of criminal identity theft over its creation of millions of unauthorized accounts, according to a search warrant sent to the bank’s San Francisco headquarters this month.
The warrant and related documents, served Oct. 5 and obtained by The Times through a public records request, confirm that California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, in the final weeks of a run for U.S. Senate, has joined the growing list of public officials and agencies investigating the bank in connection with the accounts scandal.
Harris’ office demanded the bank turn over a trove of information, including the identities of California customers who had unauthorized accounts opened in their names, information about fees related to those accounts, the names of the Wells Fargo employees who opened the accounts, the names of those employees’ managers and emails or other communication related to those accounts.
Her office is also requesting the same information about accounts opened by Wells Fargo workers in California for customers in other states.
Kristin Ford, a spokeswoman for Harris’ office, said she could not comment on an ongoing investigation. Wells Fargo spokesman Mark Folk said the bank is “cooperating in providing the requested information” but would not comment further.
Documents filed along with the search warrant argue that there is probable cause to believe Wells Fargo violated two sections of the state penal code — one outlawing certain types of impersonation, the other outlawing the unauthorized use of personal information. Both violations can be charged as felonies, punishable by imprisonment for more than a year.
Copy of the Search Warrant and Statement of Probable Cause below…
Wells Fargo Search Warrant
Statement of Probable Cause