Dime Crime

Dime Crime
September 24, 2012

Maureen Martin

Maureen Martin passed away on February 5, 2013. The Heartland Institute's page in tribute to her... (read full bio)

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Des Moines fired an employee this July for a crime he committed 49 years ago, contending the firing was necessary under federal law.

A new law prohibits insured depositories like Wells Fargo from exposing customers’ financial information to employees who have committed a crime involving dishonesty.

Wells Fargo learned one of its customer service representatives, now 68, used a fake dime to do his laundry at a Carlisle, Iowa laundromat in 1963. He was charged with operating a coin-changing machine by false means. He was convicted and sentenced to 15 days in jail, but was fined $50 and released early so he could leave for college.

“It is uncomfortable, but it is a law that we have to follow,” said a Wells Fargo spokesman. “We have the responsibility to avoid hiring or continuing to employ someone who we know has a criminal record.”

The man’s lawyer is trying to get a waiver for the man from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. His client “did something stupid,” the lawyer said. “He put a wood dime in a laundry machine,” he said. “The spirit of the law was to prevent widespread mortgage fraud but does not apply to my client, who is a customer service representative.”

The lawyer doesn’t blame Wells Fargo. “The FDIC’s regulation is overly broad,” he said.

Source: “Wells Fargo Fires Employee For Stealing a Dime in 1963,”ABC News, August 30, 2012 h/t Jonathan Turley

Maureen Martin

Maureen Martin passed away on February 5, 2013. The Heartland Institute's page in tribute to her... (read full bio)