CA Attorney General launches criminal investigation into Wells Fargo

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- San Francisco-based Wells Fargo is facing a potential criminal investigation following the revelation that bank employees opened unauthorized accounts for customers.

State Attorney General Kamala Harris is seizing records from Wells Fargo and asking the question: Did bank employees commit felony identity fraud as they allegedly opened some 2 million unauthorized accounts?

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Customer Joyce Mayo says the scandal opened her eyes and she's happy to see a criminal investigation.

"And I've been checking my account on a daily basis," Mayo said. "It could have been a bunch of overdraft fees and they were charging them for that."
Professor of ethics and management at Santa Clara University Jo-Ellen Pozner says the search warrant is the right move.

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"My research shows that we tend to feel better about getting over infractions if there's a punishment," Pozner said. "I think this is a really important way for customers to gain trust, not only in the banking system, but also in the regulatory system and the judicial system."

But she also says people have become so accustomed to shady banking practices that the scandal may not hurt the company in the long run.
"It doesn't really affect my confidence, no I've been with them since 79 and through a couple of mergers," said Wells Fargo customer William Chamberlain

Wells Fargo is cooperating with the investigation, but with the amount of information requested it's unclear how long it'll take them to get through it. Harris is running for U.S. Senate.

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