As all this came to fruition, the bank was penalized with $185 million dollars in fines and other penalties by county and federal organizations (Blake, 2016). On top of getting slapped with millions of dollars worth of fines, Wells Fargo fired 5,300 employees that may have been involved in the scandal (Blake, 2016). Some of Wells Fargo’s top executives where asked to step down in court proceedings as well as in other meetings with federal agencies. There have also been several lawsuits filed against Wells Fargo by customers and former employees of the company that feel that they were wronged and bombarded with threats. Thankfully, this scandal did not affect most of Wells Fargo’s clients. However, there were some unfortunate people that had
On January 27, 2004, Martha Stewart stood on trial facing charges of conspiracy, obstruction, securities fraud, and lying to investigators in connection with the sale of her stock in ImClone, a biopharmaceutical company (Gibson, Warin, & Gassaway, 2008). Just three years earlier, Stewart sold her stocks that she had within the company. After two days, the organization 's stock dropped 16 percent when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it had rejected the company’s new project of a drug, Erbitux, which was meant to be for cancer treatment (Leite, 2012). Stewart had controlled 4,000 shares of ImClone and by selling (or getting rid of, depending on who you ask) her shares, just before the FDA 's declaration, she kept away from
The then CEO John Stumpf was forced to resign following insurmountable political and public pressure. Federal prosecutors also issued subpoenas and congressional hearings were held, for which then CEO John Stumpf attended. Additionally, on February 21, 2017, Wells Fargo terminated four high level executives involved in the scandalous news. The SEC’s investigation consists of warrants against bank executives for possible violations of GAAP principles and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for inaccurate accounting practices. The SEC will probe possible violations of employee whistleblowing protection under the Sarbanes-Oxley and Frank-Dodson Act. Lastly, the SEC will scrutinize any securities fraud that may have been committed as a result of withholding private information (insider trading) to investors due to possible accounting malpractice. Currently, the SEC and Department of Justice results are still pending the ongoing investigation. Tomi Kilgore of MarketWatch reported “Wells Fargo investigation into sales practices should be completed before the April 2017 shareholder meeting.” Likewise, Wells Fargo responded following the mandates of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency by opening
Wells Fargo responded to the scandal by firing 5,300 low-level employees. However, the problem was much bigger than that. After numerous reports to the ethics line, it is almost certain that Wells Fargo officials had some knowledge of the scandal. Additionally, the inaccurate U5 forms “...confirm that Wells Fargo had ample information about the scope of fraudulent sales practices” (Cowley). Senator Elizabeth Warren “…publicly condemned [CEO John Stumpf] for his ‘gutless leadership’” in preventing and handling corruption within his company (Egan, Wattles, and
In my opinion, the self-view of ethics fits the Wells Fargo’s case. In that case, self-interest was made clear from its top level down to its employees. Both, Well Fargo management and employees, had their agenda. For the Wells Fargo management, its agenda was to build the brand, improve organizational performance while making more money. Furthermore, the employees’ motivation was to keep their jobs, and if they could make extra money also, it would be a win-win situation.
The accounting practices that were used within the bank were set by the tone at the top and show that the CFO’s during the 2000’s and going forward had plenty of knowledge of the Repo 105 transactions and had no great will to do anything about. The thinking at the time seemed to be, that the company had used this accounting practice for so long, that if there was something wrong it would have come up by now no point rocking the boat.
When it comes to the Ethical Decision Model, it does not just pertain to the employees who opened these accounts but also leadership who either failed to realize what was going on or decided to sweep it under the rug by just covertly firing some employees. Wells Fargo did take the first step in recognizing the problem but failed to define it, which explains why these unethical behaviors continued for so many years. When the corporation was initially aware of what was going on, they should have acted immediately and strategized a solution that would dilute the possibility of it occurring again. Instead of defining the problem, which would have foster, a proper solution but company decided to just terminate
Recently Wells Fargo’s scandal of creating phony accounts has raised ethical concerns in the corporate world. Wells Fargo employees opened more than two million unauthorized bank and credit card accounts to meet sales projections. The company was charged with huge fines and earned a bad reputation that will take years to rebuild.
In conclusion, for businesses to be ethical in small ways, may not seem to effect the community or the consumer. However, in the example of Costco, it made a difference to many people having a job during the recession was life changing. In doing so Costco has gained valuable employees and customers for years to come. On the contrary, Wells Fargo lost millions of dollars by allowing unethical practices to continue for years. In doing so Wells Fargo lost consumer
Unethical behaviors in business affect everyone since you either work in the field or are a consumer of its services. Unfortunately, almost every company usually has individuals who act unethically whether it is for their personal benefit or for the sake of the company they work for. Unethical behaviors in business might be as simple as using company property or funds for personal gain to inside trading and financial fraud. According to The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, nearly one third of business professionals feel pressured to compromise their ethical standards and are increasingly pushed towards unethical behavior. Moreover, “misconduct is common and accepted by business services professionals, the integrity of entire economic systems is at risk”, states Jordan A. Thomas, partner and chair of the Whistleblower Representation Practice at Labaton Sucharow law firm. In fact, making money at any cost is all what matters, while doing what is right and abiding by the law is not. That said, as a corporate finance student and a business administration major, it is as interesting as important for me to learn about what is considered as unethical in business, in addition to who is enforcing the federal securities laws, proposing securities rules, and regulating the securities industry.
“Chasing Madoff”, a documentary released in 2010 portrays the way the whistleblower, Harry Markopolos, uncovered Bernie Madoff’s fraud scheme and his ten-year struggle to get the SEC to investigate. The documentary begins with an introduction to Harry Markopolos and his former coworkers Frank Casey and Neil Chelo. The three men work in finance, with investment portfolios. They were aware that in the finance industry there was much talk about an investment company making their customers high returns. Casey came across some investment information from a client of Madoff and gives the information to Markopolos to look over. Markopolos claims it took him five minutes to determine Madoff’s investment enterprise was a Ponzi scheme. After obtaining
The misconduct of code of ethics by the management level by Enron corporation has led to the another question – The ultimate responsibility of a corporation towards society ? The ultimate responsibility of a corporation is to gain profit or become a stable economic unit ? (Johnson , 2014 ) In this case , it shows that under normal circumstances the management level of a company or corporation will choose to hide the truth over honesty and integrity .In other way , profitability has override the important of ethics in the corporation .
In the movie The Big Short, it seems as if almost nobody has any ethics at all.
Furthermore, the arbitrary and capricious use of corporate funds amounts to mismanagement and waste of corporate assets. The board had an obligation to deny these practices, but instead negligently allowed them. This comports with laws governing fiduciary duties of directors in Delaware (where Fred’s Foods, Inc. is incorporated).
Unethical behavior can tarnish a company’s image and reputation. If a company is unethical, they may have to spend additional money to improve their public image, as well as gain back as many customers as possible.