Carrie Tolstedt, the former head of Wells Fargo, who has made a fortune leading the bank’s efforts to aggressively sell multiple accounts to each of its millions of customers, avoided serving prison time. She pleaded guilty to an obstruction charge related to the bank’s sweeping fake accounts scandal, and she’s made a fortune on it. Tolstedt’s practices are hardly a secret since she has been doing it for years.
Carrie Tolstedt was sentenced to three years of probation including six months of home confinement by U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton in Los Angeles. She will also pay a $100,000 fine and serve 120 hours of community service.
Tolstedt, 63, pleaded guilty in March to obstructing a government probe into misconduct at San Francisco-based Wells Fargo’s retail and small business lending business, which she led from 2007 to 2016.
She is the only top executive to face criminal charges over revelations starting in 2016 about Wells Fargo’s sales culture, where employees opened millions of accounts and sold products that customers did not want in order to meet unrealistic sales goals.
Tolstedt is also the rare top executive at a major U.S. bank to have faced potential time behind bars. None went to prison as a result of the 2008 global financial crisis.
Prosecutors had sought a one-year prison term. The actual sentence mirrored Tolstedt’s request, and she accepted “full responsibility” for her crime.
“She made a personal decision to retire after 27 years with the company,” a spokesman said amid the scandal in 2016 while she was expecting a $124 million payday. Banksters gonna bank.