Industry News

Kickbacks claimed in lawsuit against Wells Fargo

Contests allegedly compensated for referrals

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A putative class action lawsuit has been filed in Miami accusing Wells Fargo Bank of giving kickbacks to business associates for referrals, media reports said. The suit contends that San Francisco-based Wells Fargo set up contests called "Pick of the Pros" and "Play of the Week" to pay back business associates for referrals, the South Florida Daily Business Review reported. The suit claims that this arrangement violates the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, reports said. Responding to questions about the suit, Wells Fargo said in a statement that it has not been contacted about a class-action lawsuit, "nor to its knowledge is it being investigated by HUD regarding the Play of the Week program." Kickbacks in the real estate industry have taken center stage this year, sparked by a Colorado inquiry into title insurance practices. In late September, Prudential Locations LLC agreed to pay $48,000 to settle a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development investigation into alleged ki...