When Richard Eggers was about 19-years-old, he did something “stupid.” His lapse of judgement then cost him his job at Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) … 49 years later.
What heinous act did Eggers commit while he was a young man that made him ineligible to keep his customer service job with the mega bank? He put a cardboard cutout of a dime into a washing machine at a Carlisle, Iowa laundry mat, The Demoines Register reports.
The crime led to Eggers’ arrest and conviction and landed him in jail for two days in 1963. It also got him fired on July 12, 2012 from his job with Well Fargo Home Mortgage.
“It was a stupid stunt and I’m not real proud of it, but to fire somebody for something like this after seven good years of employment is a dirty trick when you come right down to it,” Eggers told the Register. “And they’re doing this kind of thing all across the country.”
Edgers is right about banks increasingly firing solid employees for decades-old crimes. Earlier this year, Wells Fargo fired another employee under similar circumstances. In that case, the nation’s forth-largest bank canned Yolanda Quesada after the company learned that she was convicted of shoplifting in 1972.
Although at first glance, Wells Fargo’s actions may seem petty and cruel, the bank’s decision to crack down on past crimes is because of stricter federal regulations.
Insured depository institutions are prohibited from hiring individuals who has a criminal record involving dishonesty, money laundering or breach of trust. The new federal regulation also extends to individuals who were hired by the institutions before the guidelines were put into place.
“We are operating in an environment where we’re facing new regulations and a heightened level of scrutiny on all our activities,” Wells Fargo spokeswoman Angela Kaipust told the Register when confirming Eggers’ dismissal. “The expectations that have been placed on us and all financial institutions have never been higher.”