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You may have lost money in your investment portfolio,
due to mismanagement and not even know it.

Fraud probe extends to previously unsullied Wells Fargo unit

Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan stated recently that he would never guarantee that continuing federal probes or internal company audits are "not going to find an issue in any of our businesses."

That's a smartly couched declaration, especially in light of recent history. Seemingly, just about every investigation of a bank practice or department over the past couple years has uncovered a new scandal underscored by massive consumer fraud.

Last week marked a continuation of the theme. Reportedly, government regulators -- both civil and criminal agencies -- are now taking a hard look at what a Bloomberg article terms "previously untarnished businesses" that have arguably contributed to systemic securities fraud against bank customers.

One of those units is the bank's wealth-management division, which oversees 401(k) plans. Advisers in that department offer advice on products to customers rolling over their accounts. The stated concern of regulators is that consumers might have been wrongly steered toward inappropriate investments.

And there is also an issue linked to overcharging, which Wells Fargo must now additionally defend against. Incorrect fees have been assessed many consumers with bank investment accounts. An allegation has also been made by an ex-bank employee that the company has responded to fraud charges in some instances by simply closing consumer accounts and leaving customers on the hook for any amounts due upon termination.

Overall, the problems spell a collectivity of woes that the bank must satisfactorily deal with before federal banking officials will lift significant restrictions they have imposed on expansion. Wells Fargo officials concede that the company is facing at least three large investigations.

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