Saturday, March 23, 2013

Wells Fargo Fraudulently Opened 2-Accounts In My Name... Kept Them Open For 4-Years... Lied To Cover It Up... and Then Stole My House

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Wells Fargo Bank in Ogden, Utah, violated federal requirements and their own bank policy, when they opened two fraudulent DBA business checking accounts in my name and the name of my business, at the request of a third party.

Wells Fargo opened the accounts without my permission, or my signature on any bank documents, more than a month after I had left the state, using a phony driver's license number, birthdate and address for me.

Wells Fargo also failed to obtain any of the Federally required supporting documentation, and kept the accounts open for 4-years, while repeatedly lying to me about how they were opened and the documentation that was provided to them.
i.e. A Fictitious Name Certificate;  A Certificate of Assumed Name;  A copy of the Business License.

When I discovered what they had done, I filed fraud complaints with two government agencies and Wells Fargo spent two years, repeatedly lying to both agencies during their investigations, supplying them with false information about accounts that were opened 4-years later.  

In 2013, Wells Fargo finally agreed to turn over copies of the account documents they had on file to me. None of them had my signature on them. A phony driver's license and birthdate were listed for me, and the primary mailing address listed, was the address of the company they had opened the accounts for. 

I filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo in 2014, that they got the judge to dismiss, because it took me too long to find out what they had done.

In 2015, Wells Fargo foreclosed on my home, because I could't catch up on my mortgage payments and absorb the losses I suffered as a result of this crime.


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The video below details what the federal requirements are for opening DBA accounts and what Wells Fargo Bank requires in order to open business accounts, using images taken directly from the Wells Fargo.com website.



This video documents what the federal requirements are for opening DBA business checking accounts in Utah.  It also shows what Wells Fargo requires, with images taken from their own
 website.  The video also documents damages my property sustained, due to Kier's abuse, neglect, and mismanagement of the property.

Wells Fargo Bank does not believe that their crime played a role in enabling 
Kier Management's misappropriation of tens of thousands of dollars in phony management, maintenance, and repair charges, or in their near destruction of my building....




In November 2005, I purchased a 100-year old, historic landmark apartment building in Ogden, Utah, as an investment for my retirement, and I hired Kier Property Management and Real Estate, to manage and maintain the property for me.

Kier Management wanted me to give them complete financial control over the building and give them permission to open two checking accounts, which they would use to pay the monthly bills and expenses for the property, including the mortgage, insurance, property taxes, utilities, and various vendors and sub-contractors for services rendered.

Not having a prior relationship with Kier, I had a problem with giving them permission to open accounts that would give them unrestricted access to over $120,000 a year.  I decided to investigate alternatives to this arrangement and refused to sign the Account Authorization and Application they had given me.  I left their offices with those unsigned documents, and still have them in my possession today.

Several weeks later, I received a Wells Fargo Bank Card in the mail, for an account I did not recognize, and I called Wells Fargo to report account fraud and was informed that the account had been opened in Utah and I was referred to the branch where the accounts had originated. 

The Business Accounts Manager at the branch verified that the account had been opened by Kier Property Management, and although I informed him that I had not authorized an account to be opened, he assured me that Wells Fargo had obtained everything that was required to open them, from Kier Management.

I signed a lot of documents and contracts in Kier's offices, and although I had the unsigned bank documents in my possession, based on what the Accounts Manager told me, I assumed that I had signed a duplicate set...  I had not.



On December 8, 2005, more than a month after I had left the state, the Business Accounts Manager at the Ogden branch of Wells Fargo Bank, opened two DBA Business Checking accounts, in my name and the name of my business, (Peery Apartments), at the request of Kier Property Management.


In order to open business accounts, Federal regulations require proof of a DBA filing / Business Name Registration, or a Certificate of Assumed Name, or a copy of the Business License, and copies of those documents must be kept on file with the bank.  Wells Fargo failed to require Kier Management to provide these documents, or verify that a DBA had even been filed with the state, yet they opened the accounts  anyways. 



On September 24, 2012, I received a voicemail message from a man in Texas, alleging that Wells Fargo had opened accounts in his name using a false DBA. Click on the button below to hear it.
 Thompson Voicemail

Wells Fargo fraudulently opened these accounts for Kier Management, and allowed them to remain open for 4-years, without ever notifying me as the person listed as the primary account holder. 

Wells Fargo's crime also caused a branch of the United States Government (HUD), to pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars in subsidies over a 4-year period, to a business that didn't legally exist.  In most circles since 9/11 , that is defined as "money laundering".         More from the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

This animation details the likely course of events leading up to the
 fraudulent creation of these accounts for Kier Management in 2005


On November 30, 2009, my contract with Kier Management terminated at their request

On November 26, 2009, Kier Management wrote 3-checks to themselves on the building's accounts, from gaps they had maintained in the check numbering sequence

The three checks, totaling nearly $7,000, were presented to Wells Fargo Bank for payment, by Kier Management, on the day before the bank closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, and the subsequent termination of our contract on the following Monday, effectively draining the building's accounts of funds that were previously earmarked to pay the utility bills and property taxes.

Although Kier Management had never before written so many checks to themselves, for such high dollar amounts, nor presented so many high dollar amount checks for payment on the same day, Wells Fargo did not view this activity as "strange" or "unusual", and ultimately denied my claim for this unauthorized and fraudulent activity
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After the termination of our contract, Kier Management continued to generate checks on the building's bank accounts.  To stop this activity, and prevent further theft from occurring, I went into the same branch of Wells Fargo Bank where the accounts had been opened and asked them to close the existing accounts and open replacements. 

Wells Fargo, Branch Manager, Ryan Olsen closed the existing accounts, but refused to open replacements, because none of the Federally required supporting documentation for the accounts was on file with the bank. 


Evidently, when Wells Fargo opened the accounts for Kier Management, they failed to require them to provide copies of the required supporting documents, such as proof of a DBA filing.

I attempted to obtain a copy of the DBA filing from the Utah Department of Corporations and discovered that the reason the bank did not have proof of a DBA on file, is because a DBA never existed. Kier's CFO and Company Controller, Gordon Nielsen, later confirmed that Kier did not file a DBA
, prior to opening the accounts, in an email to me.
 (at left).  
                   
                             click on any image to enlarge it  

Nielsen, who is a Certified Public Accountant, and should be better informed than most people on this subject, defined his knowledge of the documentation required to open business checking accounts, in another email to me  (at right)



What I also discovered that day, was that another company in Salt Lake City, had registered the name "Peery Apartments", in March 2009 . . .  8-months earlier.

Due to Wells Fargo's negligence, I had now lost the name, "Peery Apartments" which was the name the building had operated under for the previous 99-years; the name the tenants had been putting on their rent checks for decades; the name I had spent countless hours branding; and the same name that the building had been marketed to me under, as a valuable, and significant historic landmark. . . 


The negligence, in allowing these accounts to be opened, under a DBA name that didn't even exist until 2009, is an embarrassment of epic proportions for Wells Fargo Bank.  Failing to close the accounts, or notify me as the primary account holder, that the accounts were opened fraudulently is an unforgivable mistake, that enabled Kier Management to misappropriate tens of thousands of dollars, for the entire time they were under contract to me. 

Had Wells Fargo Bank simply followed Federal banking requirements, and/or their own bank policy, with regard to the creation and maintenance of these accounts, they would have either been closed, or not opened at all.  In either scenario, I would have discovered Kier's misappropriation of funds, and their failure to maintain my property 4-years sooner than I did. . . .


But that would have required the integrity and honesty of Wells Fargo Bank
.  .  .  .  .  .  .


Unable to accept the fact that my trust had been so egregiously betrayed by Wells Fargo, I decided to conduct my own investigation into how this banking disaster could have happened in the first place, and why Wells Fargo allowed it to continue for 4-years, when they were clearly aware of the situation from the beginning... 

After all... They caused it.

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On December 3, 2009, Wells Fargo informed me that none of the required supporting documentation for the original accounts was on file with the bank, nor had any been provided during the account creation process. For this reason, Wells Fargo refused to open replacement accounts for me.
  
I wanted to know how someone at Wells Fargo Bank was so easily able to circumvent federal requirements and Wells Fargo's own bank policy, and open business accounts • in my name, without me being present; • without copies of any of my identification to use as verification; • without any of the required supporting documentation;  • how Wells Fargo allowed these fraudulently opened accounts to remain open for 4-years without notifying me of their status; and how they were able to do it all, without raising a single red flag.

I also wanted to know if this was a branch specific crime, or a crime that was specific to a particular Wells Fargo employee.  Wells Fargo's position was that, opening business accounts without the required supporting documentation would not be possible under normal bank operations... yet these accounts were.

I wanted to find out if I could walk into the same branch of Wells Fargo Bank where the original accounts were opened, and open the same type of accounts, without supplying any of the required supporting documentation, just as they had done during the original account creation for Kier Management.
SO... That's exactly what I did


On June 2, 2011, accompanied by a friend operating a hidden video camera, I walked into the same branch of Wells Fargo Bank where the original accounts had been opened for Kier Management, and attempted to open the same type of accounts, without providing any of the required supporting documentation, just as  Kier had done.

The Wells Fargo employee refused to open the accounts for me, stating that her computer wouldn't even let her proceed any further, without the required documentation.... Odd, that it wasn't a problem for Kier.

My intent was in finding out if Wells Fargo would repeat their crime, and I used every conceivable excuse, and told every lie I could think of, in order to persuade the bank employee to open the accounts for me, but she flat out refused.... just as her job requires her to do.

In the end I explained to her that my motivation for trying to open accounts, was to find out if Wells Fargo would violate federal regulations for me, just as they had for Kier Management.  

I also pointed out that her refusal to open the accounts for me, established that Wells Fargo Bank, committed fraud in 2005, when they opened accounts for Kier Management, in my name, under the exact same conditions that I was trying to open accounts under.

   The only difference between the two scenarios?
My name is not Kier, and the person who opened the accounts for them, no longer works for 
WELLS FARGO BANK

This is the video that was taken at Wells Fargo Bank on 6/2/11  
The Wells Fargo associate clearly paraphrases federal requirements and
Wells Fargo policy and procedure, before refusing to open accounts for me.



In the end, the damages I suffered, due to Kier Management's chronic and egregious neglect of this property, and the numerous improper or illegal repairs they had made, which had to be corrected or reversed in order to maintain my contract with HUD, quickly approached $300,000.  

My realization that Wells Fargo, the bank that I had trusted to protect my accounts, had betrayed my trust so completely by allowing this to happen, when it so easily could have been prevented, made turning to them for help when I needed it most, a virtual impossibility.








Wells Fargo Bank 
Refuses to take responsibility for this crime
They would rather steal my home instead

         
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