Wells Fargo terminated around 100 to 125 employees suspected of improperly obtaining coronavirus relief funds.
The company stated that it identified employees believed to have defrauded the Small Business Administration. These employees have made “false representations in applying for coronavirus relief funds for themselves,” according to an internal memo.
The review focused on employees who, “outside of their work responsibilities, allegedly tapped funds tied to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program,” Fox Business reported. These became earmarked “to aid small businesses hurt by coronavirus-induced shutdowns.”
“We have terminated the employment of those individuals and will cooperate fully with law enforcement,” said David Galloreese, Wells Fargo’s head of human resources. “We have zero tolerance for fraudulent behavior and will continue to look into these matters. If we identify additional wrongdoing by employees, we will take appropriate action,” he then added.
The company also believes the fraud happened “outside of their work responsibilities” as Wells Fargo employees, Gallorese also mentioned. He then said the alleged abuse is “not representative of the high integrity of the vast majority of Wells Fargo employees.”
“The SBA is not able to comment on specific fraud cases,” SBA spokesperson Carol Chastang told Business Insider via email. “Evidence of waste, fraud, and abuse with any of the SBA’s loan programs is not tolerated and should be reported.”