New Mexico sues Wells Fargo over unauthorized accounts

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico is suing Wells Fargo over a scandal in which the financial institution opened thousands of unauthorized accounts in the name of residents throughout the state.

Attorney General Hector Balderas announced the legal action Thursday, saying Wells Fargo violated state laws by opening the accounts without permission, enrolling consumers in unauthorized products and lying to consumers about the status of their relationship with the bank.

Balderas says it's estimated that more than 20,000 New Mexico accounts may have been opened fraudulently.

Nationally, the sales practice scandal involved employees opening as many as 3.5 million bank and credit card accounts without getting permission. That resulted in Wells Fargo's reputation as the nation's best-run bank being torpedoed. Major fines and penalties also were levied by federal regulators.

New Mexico is seeking penalties, restitution and attorney fees.

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