Lawsuit: Wells Fargo created millions of fake accounts

FILE - In this May 6, 2012, file photo, a Wells Fargo sign is displayed at a branch in New York. In the results of an investigation released Monday, April 10, 2017, Wells Fargo's board of directors has blamed the bank's most senior management for creating an "aggressive sales culture" at Wells that eventually led to the bank's scandal over millions of unauthorized accounts. (AP Photo/CX Matiash, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Lawyers suing Wells Fargo on behalf of customers say the bank may have opened about 3.5 million unauthorized accounts.

That’s far more than the about 2 million possibly unauthorized accounts than the bank and regulators disclosed last year

In a court filing late Thursday, lawyers representing customers told a federal judge in San Francisco that they believe bank workers created 3.5 million unauthorized accounts over the last 15 years.

A bank spokesman said the lawyers’ new estimation was unverified and based on a hypothetical scenario. The bank declined further comment.

The lawyers including the new estimate in a court filing asking a judge to approve a $142 million settlement.

Last month, the bank said it discovered the problem dated back to 2002 and increased the settlement amount from $110 million.

Here is a statement from Wells Fargo:

The account number reported in yesterday’s filing by the plaintiffs’ attorneys is only an estimate made to support the class counsel’s claims. It is not an estimate from Wells Fargo. The number of accounts estimated in the filing also does not reflect actual unauthorized accounts.

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