The 68-year-old man fired from a Wells Fargo call center over a four-decades-old crime — specifically, duping a 60s-vintage coin-op washing machine into giving him a free wash — has filed suit against the bank, and two other defendants, reports the Des Moines Register:
The complaints clear the way for a possible class-action lawsuit on behalf of thousands of low-level bank employees like Eggers, who have been fired this year under tightened regulations meant to deter the kind of high-level excesses that helped precipitate the global financial crisis, Bates said…The complaints allege discrimination on the basis of age, sex and disability. They are directed against Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, First Advantage, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and the board of directors of the Federal Reserve.
That’s right, in addition to suing Wells Fargo, Richard Eggers is suing First Advantage, the background check company that classified his 10-cent laundromat trickery as “fraud,” and the federal regulators responsible for poorly-worded regulations that led to his getting fired. The regulations were written to keep scummy already-convicted “banksters” out of upper management, and they come with a hefty $1 million a day fine.
What’s interesting about this event is that obviously Wells Fargo knows that the Fed is not going to punish them for $1 million a day for employing a man who they would have no way of knowing — or, indeed, reason to know — that he had once fashioned a fake dime out of cardboard as a teenager and gotten caught for it. It almost seems that Wells wanted to start this flare-up between banks, regulators, and bank employees to prove some point about banking regulation killing jobs. Pure speculation. It would be a tremendously disingenuous effort were it the case, but a successful one — Eggers named more regulators in his suit than he did banks, after all.