Former Wells Fargo exec facing possible prison time

CHARLOTTE — A former high-ranking executive with Wells Fargo & Co. is facing the possibility of prison time as well as millions of dollars in fines tied to the bank’s notorious fake-accounts scandal.

Carrie Tolstedt, who was once the head of community banking for Wells Fargo, has agreed to plead guilty to obstructing regulators’ investigation into the company’s sales practices, according to a press release from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office, Central District of California.

Prosecutors say Tolstedt knew of misconduct within the community bank but minimized the problem while employees, driven by excessive sales goals, continued to engage in a process known as “gaming” — including using existing customers’ information to open fraudulent accounts. The scandal was brought to light in a 2016 settlement, though prosecutors say the practice dated 2002, and Wells Fargo is still dealing with the fallout.

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(WATCH BELOW: Wells Fargo to pay $3.7B over consumer loan violations)