Wells Fargo Fires Worker, Richard Eggers, Over Laundromat Incident From 1963

Richard Eggers fired Wells Fargo

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Wells Fargo Home Mortgage has fired a Des Moines worker over a 1963 incident at a laundromat, involving a fake dime, in the wake of new employment guidelines.

Richard Eggers, 68, was fired in July from his job as a customer service representative for putting a cardboard cutout of a dime in a washing machine nearly 50 years ago in Carlisle, the Des Moines Register reported Monday. Warren County court records show Eggers was convicted of operating a coin-changing machine by false means. Eggers called it a "stupid stunt," but questions his firing.

Big banks have been firing low-level employees like Eggers since new federal banking employment guidelines were enacted in May 2011 and new mortgage employment guidelines took hold in February, the newspaper said. The tougher standards are meant to clear out executives and mid-level bank employees guilty of transactional crimes -- such as identity theft and money laundering -- but are being applied across the board because of possible fines for noncompliance.

Banks have fired thousands of workers nationally, said Natasha Buchanan, an attorney in Santa Ana, Calif., who has helped some of the workers regain their eligibility to be employed.

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"Banks are afraid of the FDIC and the penalties they could face," Buchanan said.

The regulatory rules forbid the employment of anyone convicted of a crime involving dishonesty, breach of trust or money-laundering. Before the guidelines were changed, banks widely interpreted the rules to exclude minor traffic offenses and misdemeanors.

Wells Fargo confirmed Eggers' termination.

"The expectations that have been placed on us and all financial institutions have never been higher," said Wells Fargo spokeswoman Angela Kaipust.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. provides a waiver process employees can follow to show they're still fit to work at a bank despite a past criminal conviction, but it usually takes six months to a year to be approved. There is also a process for automatic waiver that works more quickly but is limited to people who were sentenced to less than year of jail time and never spent a day locked up.

Eggers, who was jailed two days, doesn't qualify.

American Bankers Association spokeswoman Carol Kaplan said the public clamor for tighter regulation also is responsible for the stricter interpretation of the rules. The safest route is to fire the employee and let them pursue an FDIC waiver.

"There's no question that there was an appetite for tighter bank regulation as a result of the global financial crisis," Kaplan said.

There is no government or industry data on the number of bank firings due to criminal background checks. The FDIC is on pace to grant 74 waivers, up from 21 waivers approved in 2009. The agency was not able to provide any information on annual waiver application data.

Des Moines attorney Leonard Bates is helping Eggers navigate the FDIC waiver application process.

"These guidelines are really meant for executives and people who can perpetuate widespread fraud," Bates said.

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I bet the people who fired him weren't even born yet when that incident occurred. That is so stupid. Who runs the FDIC anyway?

August 29 2012 at 10:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply


August 29 2012 at 9:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The law also applies to Federal employees. My spouse the CFO of a VA hospital, undergoes an FBI check that includes financial, physical, mental, family etc. As she filled it out over two weeks its intensive, I was offended to find my history, along with hers, was being reviewed back through high school, were turning sixty years old. The Feds have been using this type of background check fo quite awhile, as this is the third one that I've seen her completing over her career. She can be fired, and management gets fired, they're non union, if our credit score dips, if they discover some miniscue bit of information back to almost birth, considering it includes family history.

August 29 2012 at 9:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, you can thank obama and githner for this one too. This is THEIR fault, not Bush's.

August 29 2012 at 9:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My mom is leaving Wells Fargo..she said there nothing but snotty b**ches these days, poor customer service.

August 29 2012 at 9:26 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Good to see the banks cleaning up their lot. After all, too big to fail means he owes the laundromat a dime and Bush isn't around to bail Wells FArgo out AGAIN.

August 29 2012 at 9:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Jim's comment

Bush had nothing to do with this. Blame the current DC bunch.

August 29 2012 at 10:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Obama bailed out the banks, not Bush.

August 29 2012 at 10:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yet they hire stupid women that wears flip flops to work, and thats ok in dress code standards?

August 29 2012 at 9:24 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I haven't been able to find a job in 4 years, and yet I read about this story, and all I have to say about it, is that the stupid reason to be fired for.

August 29 2012 at 9:23 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

" new federal banking employment guidelines " Aha, so this is how you create jobs in this economy - rank up regulations so that people lose their jobs over something they did half a century ago. Good work, Feds. Looks like Obama taught you alot. And Wells Fargo sucks, by the way. I just closed my account with them, and it was the best thing I ever did. I would never have chosen Wells Fargo on my own, it's just that they took over my bank.

August 29 2012 at 8:23 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to profdana's comment

So, the LACK of regulation didn't get us where we are today? Leaving banks unregulated will just give us more of the same disasters we already have.

August 29 2012 at 10:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They terminated him so they wouldnt have to pay him his full retirement pay, plain and simple, folks. Companies do it all the time. Work for a company for , say 19 years, they WILL terminate you before you hit 20 years. Nasty economics. BUT! We are TALKING Wells Fargo, and you are surprised?

August 29 2012 at 7:52 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

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