Money Laundering? Wells Fargo Fired Man Who Used Cardboard Dime In 1963 At An Iowa Laundromat

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage has finally caught up with Richard Eggers, 68. The company filed the Des Moines worker after discovering that he has a criminal record. In 1963, Eggers used a cardboard dime at a Laundromat. His crime spree came to an end in July when the company fired him as part of its effort to stay in conformity with banking regulations to get rid of employees guilty of “transactional crimes.” I suppose using a cardboard dime at a laundromat must constitute a form of money laundering.


After what he recalled was a dumb stunt, Eggers was sentenced to 15 days in jail, though he got out after two days.

Eggers was a customer service representative who apparently held this dark secret for 49 years. He was fired with thousands of workers nationally as banks clear out any employees convicted of a crime involving dishonesty, breach of trust or money laundering. Wells Fargo appears to have taken the rules to an absurd degree.

The firing by the company shows as little humanity as it does logic. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has a waiver process to allow employees to remain in a company despite a past criminal conviction. It takes months to qualify but Eggers clearly would have met the standards. The other exception allows for an automatic waiver for those people sentenced less than a year and who spent no time in jail. However, since Eggers was jailed for two days on his dime caper, he does not qualify.

Clearly the bank is facing much more stringent rules, but the bank officer who fired Eggers clearly lacks a basic element of judgment in not starting a process for a waiver as opposed to firing him. It appears that no one in the process at the bank had the mental acumen to say “wait, this would be ridiculous and unfair for one of our workers.” The result is the bank has taken another expensive public relations hit and no doubt left some customers wondering about the competence of its management.

Eggers’ lawyer is currently working to complete the waiver process for his criminal kingpin client.

Source: ABC

24 thoughts on “Money Laundering? Wells Fargo Fired Man Who Used Cardboard Dime In 1963 At An Iowa Laundromat”

  1. I see no banks nor financial institutes cowering from regulators. Some are not being prosecuted for fraud.

    Personally, I feel the banks still strut their stuff.
    Welching on most customer deals if they can find an advantage in it.

    This employee may have had a pension plan that by firing him Wells Fargo can save a “dime” on.

    My company had a standing policy to buy out all employees who reached a certain age.

    However it comes, it is always a “surprise”.

  2. Thanks for this article on the consequences of money laundering. I’m excited that Wells Fargo is helping to stem this TIDE of crimes and CHEER their efforts. We all GAIN from this type of scrutiny and I hope that they WISK other perpetrators from the system. Once again, this article was FAB-ulous.

  3. Corporations can be very creative.

    IBM had (has?) a policy where any employee can escalate a personnel issue to the highest levels of the company. One person tried it. He was fired, unjustly in his opinion. He tried the escalation route but was booted out. He was no longer an employee and the policy no longer applied. Gotcha!

  4. Bron, people might not be “smart enough to grasp all of the unintended consequences of regulations” (a proposition I doubt), but they are surely smart enough to grasp what happens when there is an absence of regulation. I was thinking about this yesterday when I heard a report that the relatively low amount of hurricane damage in Louisiana this week was in part due to much more stringent building codes being put in place — meanwhile, down the coast in Tampa. . . .

    Sounds to me like Wells Fargo wanted to get out of paying retirement benefits to Mr. Eggers. Reprehensible. So, Wells Fargo can track down this “crime” from 49 years ago. Surely then they can help to discover who is responsible for trashing the economy this past decade and send those folks up river.

  5. Bron,

    I suppose having clean waters too onerous of a request…..that requires regulation and some people complain about that…..

  6. the government made the law/regulation for the banks to follow. Why is it the banks fault? Why should the bank have to go through months of paper work to keep an employee when it is clearly the government which created the problem in the first place.

    Why didnt the government set a limit on the value of the crime to $25.00? Or even a dollar? Then the man would still have his job.

    This is a classic example of the unintended consequences of government regulations. I wonder how much banking regulations by government contributed to the 2008 debacle? Are bankers taking the heat which should be applied to government regulators?

    People are not smart enough to grasp all of the unintended consequences of regulations. Let the courts figure it out when an individual is harmed by a corporation or another individual.

  7. I can say from personal experience banks are cowering to many of these ridiculous rules now forced upon them by the various banking reforms. The penalties against them are high and as a result absolute and strict compliance is paramount to the banks which fear reprisals by the gov’t.

    Complaince even as draconian for the man in this article are actually the rule of the day. The gov’t has actually been insanely critical of any perceived violation and the banks have reacted accordingly.

    I do not agree with Wells Fargo’s actions against this man. I would have found a lot harder for him or offered him a token non-banking job or “extended vacation” just to bridge him through this. But what is happening to this person is more of a symptom of a far, far greater problem that is plaging the economy with respect to banking.

  8. Wait a minute !! Did it work? Maybe he had a bad escape plan. Perhaps he did get away but then realized he left his favorite towel in the dryer, and went back to get it.
    I am going to make 6 cardboard quarters, and drop them in a pop machine.
    If it works I’ll get 15 cents worth of pop in a 1.50 can. Finally a fair price for flavored carbonated water.

  9. bettykath might be right. This is an amazing case. So let me get this straight. The people who ordered and did the actual illegal torture get away free, and a guy who uses a cardboard dime loses his job? The Wall Street bankers who stole millions and crashed the economy are not charged with any crimes, but the guy who “stole” a dime almost 50 years ago loses his job?

  10. Having done thousands of background checks I can tell you they did some real digging to come up w/ a 1963 crime. It was almost certainly not a routine background check. I sense Wells Fargo had a bug up their butt about this guy. bettykath gives a possible motive for this very thorough background check.

  11. “Clearly the bank is facing much more stringent rules, but the bank officer who fired Eggers clearly lacks a basic element of judgment in not starting a process for a waiver as opposed to firing him. It appears that no one in the process at the bank had the mental acumen to say ‘wait, this would be ridiculous and unfair for one of our workers.’”

    I suspect that it was simply easier and less time consuming to fire the guy than to go through some sort of governmental waiver process. If this guy was management rather than a customer service rep, I bet Wells Fargo would have bothered to jump over a couple of hurdles.

  12. I think it’s an excuse to get rid of an older worker. Why wouldn’t they discriminate on the basis of age?

  13. Sounds like a further manifestation of the zero tolerance (zero judgment) mindset at play. And the mindlessness of big bureaucracies too, no doubt.

    Who can know how government weenies will end up treating this infraction, so just fire the guy and avoid that risk. Heartless? Yes. But that’s bureaucracy for ya.

  14. Wells Fargo was involved in discrimination against minorities for many decades. Native American Indians in particular. For that reason, even though those crimes go back for over a century, those of you who do business with that bank should pull out now like your father should have. After all, what is sauce for the goose….

  15. Sounds more like they were looking for a reason to get rid of him, perhaps a bunch of others too.
    Rich, your 68, pick up the Winnebago and enjoy life for a few years.

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