One who intends to leave others better off for his having existed.

11/25/14

Wells Fargo refused to provide discoverable documentation and communications to or from Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf etc...

In the Matter of; George Hartzman, Complainant, v. Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC., Respondent, Case No. 2013-SOX-00045 with the United States Department of Labor, Office of Administrative Law Judges, presided over by Judge Kenneth A. Krantz, Wells Fargo refused to provide the following discoverable documentation and communications;

Narrowed and clarified Request for Production of Documents 1;

"Please provide all discoverable documentation and communications to or from A; Danny Ludeman, B; John Stumpf, C; David Carroll, D; Manager, Employee Activities Group at Wells Fargo Advisors' Stacey Mitchell, E; Director of Registration and Employee Activities' Don Geczi, F; Investigations Director Michael Bacon, G; William Rogers, H; Doug Lowe, I; whom ever BoardCommunications@wellsfargo.com is, J; then Wells Fargo EVP & Deputy Chief Auditor Karl Riem, K; Wells Fargo Audit Director Grant Carlson and L; Employment and Director of  Human Resources' Bruce Berrol, relating to George Hartzman’s Wells Fargo "alleged whistleblower complaint" as described by Messrs. Pope and Keating on July 18, 2014, between November 1, 2011, and January 31, 2013.
.
.
The following email was sent to Aaron Landry and William Rogers on February 22, 2012;

From: Hartzman, George Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 9:55 AM
To: Landry, Aaron Cc: Rogers, William H.
Subject: Please provide an update on the ethics thing.
Attachments; 10k.doc

The unequal accumulation of political resources 
points to an ominous possibility:

Political inequalities may be ratcheted up, so to speak, 
to a level from which they cannot be ratcheted down.

The cumulative advantages in power, influence, and authority 
of the more privileged strata may become so great 
that .. a majority of ordinary citizens…are simply unable
…to overcome the forces of inequality arrayed against them.”

Robert Dahl

"One of the central characteristics of highly unequal societies
is that two sets of laws develop:

One set for the rich and powerful and one set for everyone else.

The more unequal societies become, the more easily they accept the unacceptable,
and with each unrebuked violation, the powerful actors at the top
...gain an ever greater sense of entitlement and an ever greater sense
that the laws that govern everyone else don’t apply to them.

As a result, their behavior becomes increasingly egregious.

Over time, citizens lose faith in government
and their own ability to thrive in what becomes a corrupt economy.

When powerful players are permitted to alter established rules at will,
capitalism ultimately collapses.

Contracts and the idea of a fair bargain become meaningless
as less powerful parties to an agreement
know their rights will not be enforced.

This uncertainty leads the small businesses,
which are so often cited as important to our economy,
to shy away from new activities that might put them at the risk
of unequal treatment.

In contrast, sustainable capitalism
requires that all participants in a contract or bargain
believe their interests will be enforced equally by the courts:

Capitalism requires that Lady Justice wear a blindfold."

Bruce Judson
.
.
[Aaron Landry's reply;] From: Landry, Aaron Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 10:37 AM To: Hartzman, George Cc: Rogers, William H.; Lowe, Doug

Subject: Re: Please provide an update on the ethics thing.

George

As discussed the region is looking into your concerns and i will be back to you when we have a response. I hope that will be this week.

Aaron Landry
.
.
[Excerpts from the attachment entitled 10k which was forwarded along with Aaron Landry's reply on March 4, 2012 at 12:12 PM;] subject: Please provide an update to aaron.l.landry@wellsfargoadvisors.com, danny.ludeman@wellsfargoadvisors.com, john.g.stumpf@wellsfargo.com, d.carroll@wellsfargo.com, stacey.mitchell@wellsfargoadvisors.com, don.geczi@wellsfargoadvisors.com, baconmij@wellsfargo.com, bill.rogers@wellsfargoadvisors.com, doug.lowe@wellsfargoadvisors.com, BoardCommunications@wellsfargo.com, karl.f.riem@wellsfargo.com, Grant.Carlson@wellsfargo.com, Bruce.J.Berrol@wellsfargo.com;

"...Ethics Committee Review

If a disclosure, request for approval, or exception request arises that is not discussed in the Code, or if application of the rule to a set of circumstances is unclear or has broad policy implications, the Code Administrator or member of the Operating Committee who initially received the request or disclosure may forward the documentation to the corporate secretary, care of Wells Fargo Legal Group, for referral to and resolution by the Ethics Committee.

The corporate secretary or the Ethics Committee will notify the Code Administrator and the Operating Committee member of the Ethics Committee’s decision.

A copy of each disclosure or request, noting the approval or disapproval by the Ethics Committee, must be returned to the team member and a copy, with the team member’s Employee ID included, shall be forwarded to Employee Records for placement in the team member’s official personnel file.

Executive Officer Exceptions

Exceptions to the Code for the chief executive officer and other executive officers of Wells Fargo & Company must be approved by the Audit and Examination Committee of the Board of Directors of Wells Fargo & Company and, if approved, will be promptly disclosed to Wells Fargo stockholders in accordance with legal and regulatory requirements.

Recordkeeping

Code Administrators are responsible for all Code-related recordkeeping.

All disclosures, requests for approval or consent, requests for exceptions, and other Code documentation must be retained in the team member’s official personnel file.

https://www.wellsfargo.com/downloads/pdf/about/team_member_code_of_ethics.pdf

...The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep 
they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. 

Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans 
at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. 

Bloomberg

We reduced short-term borrowings due to the continued liquidation
of previously identified non-strategic and liquidating loan portfolios,
soft loan demand and strong deposit growth.”

2009 10k

Any form of “gaming” to receive compensation, 
...is in direct violation of company policy and this Code. 

Gaming is defined as the manipulation, misrepresentation, or both 
of ...reporting in an attempt to receive compensation...

Wells Fargo’s Code of Ethics and Business Conduct

C. Insider Trading

Insider trading involves the purchase or sale of securities of a company
or other entity while in possession of material, nonpublic information
(also called “inside information”) about the company or entity.

1. Material Inside Information - “Inside” or “nonpublic information”
is information about a business organization
that is not generally available to or known by the public.

Such information is considered to be “material”
if there is a likelihood that it would be considered important
by an investor in making a decision to buy or sell a company’s securities…

Director Code of Ethics
Wells Fargo & Company

Information should be presumed “material” 
if it relates to, among other things, any of the following:
• earnings or financial results, before publicly disclosed;
• significant gains or losses;
• significant merger or acquisition proposals or agreements;
• significant purchase or sale of assets; • significant borrowing; • major litigation;
• new debt or equity offerings; • liquidity problems; or • significant management changes.

Director Code of Ethics
Wells Fargo & Company

Board members must avoid conflicts of interest
or the appearance of conflicts of interest in their activities.

A conflict of interest is a situation in which a director’s personal interest
or outside economic interest in a matter:

...raises a reasonable question about or the appearance of such interference,
inconsistency, or improper personal benefit.\
.
.
Ethics

We strive for the highest ethical standards with team members, customers, our communities and shareholders.  Honesty, trust and integrity are essential for meeting the highest standards of corporate governance.  They’re not just the responsibility of our senior leaders and our board of directors.  We’re all responsible.  All 275,000 of us.  Corporations don’t have a conscience.  People do.  Our ethics are the sum of all the decisions each of us makes every day.  If you want to find out how strong a company’s ethics are, don’t listen to what its people say.  Watch what they do.  This is even more important in our industry because everything we do is built on trust.  …Our customers trust us to protect their money.

…They trust our financial consultants to give them the right financial advice.

..We behave ethically when we:

•Value and reward open, honest, two-way communication.
•Hold ourselves accountable for, and are proud of, our decisions and our conduct.
•Only make promises we intend to keep—do what we say we’ll do.
If things change, let people know.
•Share information with our colleagues that they need, and let them know if things change.
•Avoid any actual or perceived conflict of interest.
•Comply with the letter and the spirit of the law.
•Acknowledge and apologize for our mistakes,
and learn from our errors so we don’t make them again.

We want compliance and risk management to be part of our culture, an extension of our code of ethics.  Everyone shapes the risk culture of our company.  We encourage all team members to identify and bring risk forward.  We should thank them for doing so, not penalize them.  Ben Franklin was right: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
We value what’s right for our customers in everything we do.  …Our customers—external and internal—are our friends.  We advocate for their best financial interests.

…We put their long-term financial interests first by: Starting every discussion with what’s best for them.

https://www.wellsfargo.com/invest_relations/vision_values/6

What am I supposed to tell my clients?

As a Fiduciary, how should I respond?

If the investigation is complete, where is the report?

Please explain how I am acting in my clients best interests
If I accept your answer and do nothing more?

How can I disclose "all material facts"
If I am not informed of what they are?

I thought I had a "reasonable, independent basis for their investment advice"
Until it was reported that I may not have had, which creates a conflict of interest
Which  I have not been given a way to deal with
If I don't know what I should ?

As a Fundamental Choice Portfolio Manager
Do I not have a fiduciary obligation to my clients?

If my job is to act in the best interests of my clients, and a question of the best interests of my clients has been questioned,
How should I respond to what some may consider to be an obfuscational response?

Did the Board of Directors oversee the investigation?

The Audit and Examination Committee of the Wells Fargo & Company Board of Directors 
will oversee the investigation of concerns raised about accounting,
internal accounting controls, and auditing matters.

Wells Fargo’s Code of Ethics and Business Conduct

Sarbanes–Oxley Act

Title III ...mandates that senior executives take individual responsibility
for the accuracy and completeness of corporate financial reports...

Were the reports accurate?

Was this information disclosed?

...Wells Fargo bought Wachovia Corp., 
...because depositors were pulling their money from Wachovia, 
the Fed channeled $50 billion in secret loans…through two emergency-financing programs 
to prevent collapse before Wells Fargo could complete the purchase.

Bloomberg

Is this correct?

Falsification of any company or personal information that you provide is prohibited. 

Falsification refers to knowingly misstating, altering, 
adding information to, or omitting or deleting information 
from a Wells Fargo record or system 
which results in something that is untrue, fraudulent, or misleading.

Wells Fargo’s Code of Ethics and Business Conduct 

If some misled, or ommitted…
How can the case be closed?

If it is my responsibility to raise concerns and nothing happens,
What is my responsibility to whom after?

Is this a usual response for those who stick their necks out?

Should one who raises concerns be informed of the investigative outcome?

[End excerpt]
.
.
As far as Complainant can tell, Respondent produced only the following relative to the Request for Production Number One, which is evidence of an adverse action, as Ken Tolson didn't respond to an initial email from Board Communications and then waived the Board off of Complainant's communication containing evidence of securities fraud, insider trading and violations of Wells Fargo's Code of Ethics by Respondent;
.
.
From: Board Communications Sent: Monday, March 05, 2012 2:41 PM
To: Tolson, Ken
Subject: BOD Case HARTZ0304412B Hartzman, George DUE 3/16/12

...CRA Complaints recieved the following BOD Case HARTZ0304412B Hartzman, George DUE 3/16/12. Please review the attachment and advise within one business day if your line of business can assist with the following customer's concern. We will close the case on our end with your acceptance. If this should be routed elsewhere, please let us know.

Thank you,

Jessica Venable
Compliance Specialist
CRA Risk Management
.
.
From: Board Communications Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 11:09 AM
To: Tolson, Ken
Subject: FW: BOD Case HARTZ0304412B Hartzman, George DUE 3/16/12

...Please indicate if you will be responding to this case. We can close the case on our end with your acceptance.

Thank you,

Jessica Venable
Compliance Specialist
CRA Risk Management
.
.
From: Tolson, Ken
Sent: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 2:19 PM
To: Board Communications
Subject: RE: BOD Case HARTZ0304412B Hartzman, George DUE 3/16/12

Jessica,

This issue is being looked in to and the complainant has been contacted. Please let me know if I can assist with anything else.

Sincerely,

Ken

From: Board Communications Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 5:24 PM
To: Tolson, Ken
Subject: RE: BOD Case HARTZ0304412B Hartzman, George DUE 3/16/12

Ken,

Thank you - that note is perfect!

Jessica Venable
Compliance Specialist
CRA Risk Management
.
.
From: Board Communications Sent: Friday, March 09, 2012 9:50 AM
To: Tolson, Ken
Subject: RE: BOD Case HARTZ0304412B Hartzman, George - ADD INFO

Good Morning Ken,

CRA received additional information regarding BOD Case HARTZ030412B Hartzman, George DUE 3.16.12. The case has been closed on our end with your acceptance, however, we want to provide you with all relevant case information that we continue to receive. Thank you,

Jessica Venable
Compliance Specialist
CRA Risk Management

From: Board Communications Sent: Friday, March 09, 2012 1:03 PM
To: Tolson, Ken
Subject: RE: BOD Case HARTZ0304412B Hartzman, George - ADD INFO

Ken,

Shortly after I sent the below email regarding additional info, the Board inbox received the attached from Corp Security.

Jessica Venable
Compliance Specialist
CRA Risk Management
.
.
From: Tolson, Ken
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2012 8:26 AM
To: Board Communications
Subject: RE: BOD Case HARTZ0304412B Hartzman, George - ADD INFO

Jessica,

Thank you for this update... I heard this morning these new complaints are also being looked in to. The complainant has not been responded to regarding the new complaints as of this moment but he will be contacted promptly...

Sincerely,
Ken
.
.
By Messrs. Keating and Pope's count per their August 8, 2014 motion, which most likely didn't include the total number of actual responses, emails I sent in August, 2014 generated eleven responses from those who received the communication from Wells Fargo, and ten responses from Littler employees.

Messrs. Keating and Pope appear to contend that there was not one response to any of the emails directed at those identified in Request for Production Number One other than what appears to be an adverse act, after producing responses from some of the same people in August 2014 to make their case for a motion that would favor their case.

Messrs. Keating and Pope said they had more discoverable evidence on March 28, 2014, and then said they produced all the discoverable evidence on September 5, 2014.

It appears Wells Fargo is withholding relevant and discoverable evidence that may show motive, cause and/or retaliation by Wells Fargo in violation of the rules of discovery.

Complainant, as a shareholder, employee with fiduciary responsibilities to his clients with accounts governed by the Advisors Act, and as a client of Wells Fargo, in which Wells Fargo contractually acted as a fiduciary, please compel Respondent to produce what Messrs. Keating and Pope said they had but chose not to produce in March, and any other discoverable evidence asked for within Production of Documents Number One.

If Respondent contends some or all of the documents requested are attorney-client privileged, please compel the production of a privilege log identifying and detailing the same.

No comments: