Wells Fargo is accused of harming fraud victims by closing accounts

When signs of fraud appear on a customer’s account, such as a counterfeit check or an unauthorized withdrawal, a bank is required by law to investigate whether criminal activity has occurred.

Wells Fargo had a simpler solution, according to a former employee: Close the account and drop the customer.

Matthew Valles, a former fraud investigator for Wells Fargo in Portland, Ore., said the bank fired him in January in retaliation for his internal complaints about “hundreds” of mishandled fraud investigations. On Wednesday, he sued the San Francisco bank and his former manager, alleging that they had violated whistle-blower laws.