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Wells Fargo fires Richard Eggers for using counterfeit coin... in 1963

Eggers lost his job for a minor crime he committed a half-century ago.
Eggers lost his job for a minor crime he committed a half-century ago.
ABC5 screengrab

SEE ALSO: Wells Fargo fires Wisconsin woman for 1972 shoplifting charges

In May, we told you about Yolanda Qusada, a Wisconsin woman who was fired by Wells Fargo because she was convicted of two minor shoplifting charges in 1972.

If you think losing your job for something that happened during the Nixon Administration is cruel and unusual, consider the story of 68-year-old Des Moines resident Richard Eggers. In July, Eggers was fired from his $29,795-a-year call center job with Wells Fargo because he used a counterfeit coin at a laundromat back while John F. Kennedy was still alive and kicking.

From the Des Moines Register:

[Eggers'] crime? Putting a cardboard cutout of a dime in a washing machine in Carlisle on Feb. 2, 1963.

"It was a stupid stunt and I'm not real proud of it, but to fire somebody for something like this after seven good years of employment is a dirty trick when you come right down to it," said Eggers of Des Moines. "And they're doing this kind of thing all across the country."

Big banks have been firing low-level employees like Eggers since the issuance of new federal banking employment guidelines in May 2011 and new mortgage employment guidelines in February.

The tougher standards are meant to weed out executives and mid-level bank employees guilty of transactional crimes, like identity fraud or mortgage fraud, but they are being applied across-the-board thanks to $1-million-a day fines for noncompliance.

Eggers was given an opportunity to explain himself to Wells Fargo officials, but was fired anyway. The bank says it had no choice.

Spokeswoman Angela Kaipust told Iowa's ABC5 News that bank officials "don't have discretion to grant exceptions in situations like this. Once we find out someone has a criminal history of dishonesty or breach of trust we can no longer employ them."

The FDIC has a process in place whereby workers like Eggers who lose their jobs for "financial crimes" can appeal, but that process can take six months to a year, the Register reports.

Eggers hoped to work four more years and plans to appeal his termination, but is out of work in the meantime. Charlene Eggers, Richard's wife of 43 years, says the way her husband has been treated isn't fair.

"His only crime was being a teenager and being stupid," she told the Register. "If that's a crime we're all in a lot of trouble."


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