Bank worker gets fired for using fake dime decades ago

  • tenCentCrime2.jpg

    Aug. 10, 2012: Richard Eggars stands in a laundromat in Carlisle, Iowa that has come back to haunt him. (TR)

DES MOINES –  Wells Fargo Home Mortgage has fired a Des Moines worker over a 1963 incident at a Laundromat involving a fake dime in the wake of new employment guidelines.

Richard Eggers, 68, was fired in July from his job as a customer service representative for putting a cardboard cutout of a dime in a washing machine nearly 50 years ago in Carlisle, the Des Moines Register reported Monday.

Warren County court records show Eggers was convicted of operating a coin-changing machine by false means. Eggers called it a “stupid stunt,” but questions his firing.

Big banks have been firing low-level employees like Eggers since new federal banking employment guidelines were enacted in May 2011 and new mortgage employment guidelines took hold in February, the newspaper said. The tougher standards are meant to clear out executives and mid-level bank employees guilty of transactional crimes — such as identity theft and money laundering — but are being applied across the board because of possible fines for noncompliance.

Banks have fired thousands of workers nationally, said Natasha Buchanan, an attorney in Santa Ana, Calif., who has helped some of the workers regain their eligibility to be employed.

“Banks are afraid of the FDIC and the penalties they could face,” Buchanan said.

The regulatory rules forbid the employment of anyone convicted of a crime involving dishonesty, breach of trust or money laundering. Before the guidelines were changed, banks widely interpreted the rules to exclude minor traffic offenses and misdemeanors.

Wells Fargo confirmed Eggers’ termination.

“The expectations that have been placed on us and all financial institutions have never been higher,” said Wells Fargo spokeswoman Angela Kaipust.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. provides a waiver process employees can follow to show they’re still fit to work at a bank despite a past criminal conviction, but it usually takes six months to a year to be approved. There is also a process for automatic waiver that works more quickly but is limited to people who were sentenced to less than year of jail time and never spent a day locked up.

Eggers, who was jailed two days, doesn’t qualify.

American Bankers Association spokeswoman Carol Kaplan said the public clamor for tighter regulation also is responsible for the stricter interpretation of the rules. The safest route is to fire the employee and let them pursue an FDIC waiver.

“There’s no question that there was an appetite for tighter bank regulation as a result of the global financial crisis,” Kaplan said.

There is no government or industry data on the number of bank firings due to criminal background checks. The FDIC is on pace to grant 74 waivers, up from 21 waivers approved in 2009. The agency was not able to provide any information on annual waiver application data.

Des Moines attorney Leonard Bates is helping Eggers navigate the FDIC waiver application process.

“These guidelines are really meant for executives and people who can perpetuate widespread fraud,” Bates said.

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Sales of Existing Homes Improve as Prices Rise

TAOSREALTY, Monday, August 27, 2012— (MCT)—Sales of existing homes are strengthening and prices continue to rise, stoking confidence in the housing market’s recovery.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, resales of single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums and co-ops grew 2.3 percent in July from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million. The measure took an unexpected fall in June.

Resales jumped 10.4 percent compared with the same month last year. Economists at the association believe sales could reach 5 million next year.
Nationwide, prices were on a tear, with the median rising 9.4 percent from a year ago to $187,300 last month. The increase is the largest since a 10.2 percent boost in January 2006.
Demand is stronger due to low mortgage interest rates and rising rents, according to Lawrence Yun, the group’s chief economist.

But “the market is constrained by unnecessarily tight lending standards and shrinking inventory supplies, so housing could easily be much stronger without these abnormal frictions,” Yun said in a statement.

Though first-time buyers made up more than a third of resale clients, in normal housing conditions they’d constitute 40 percent. Many are still being pushed out by investors making all-cash offers, even though the ranks of such buyers are shrinking .

Distressed homes, which include foreclosures and short sales, made up 24 percent of sales in July, down from a quarter the previous month and nearly 30 percent a year earlier.

The median price of a single-family home was $188,100, up 9.6 percent from the same period in 2011. Sales of such properties rose 9.9 percent over the same period to an annual rate of 3.98 million.

5 White Kitchens, 5 Different Looks: Got a Favorite?

 Here are 5 kitchen’s we like, each with their own style and vibe. Which would you most like to cook (or at least eat) in?

1. This nautical-looking kitchen is a perfect fit for the lake house it’s in. The blue porcelain stove steals the show.

2.

. With the white tile, white cabinets, marble counters, and tall ceilings, this kitchen looks calm, cool, and collected. I feel like I need to squint a little.

I feel like I need to squint a little.

3. This one has vintage charm with open shelves, painted floors, a fabulous farm sink.

4. The bright green tile, black wall, and black counters make a bold statement in this eco-friendly kitchen.

5. This traditional kitchen mixes marble with beadboard and warm wood floors to create a room that my dog Maizie and I would feel right at home in.

If you have a white kitchen, how do you decorate yours? Is it cool and classy with Carerra? Colorful and bright with ? Warm and neutral?

From Functional to Fabulous: Kitchen Trends from 1930-2000

Kitchen trends come and go. Just as we scoff at “harvest gold” refrigerators and wood paneling, future generations will likely sneer at stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.

So bring along your critical restraint as we look at how kitchen trends have evolved over the years. (Except during our discussion of 1970’s kitchens: those hideous cabinets and appliances have earned a little ridicule!)

1930 kitchen

1930s: Checkered linoleum flooring hit it big.

1930’s: Color and Charm

The typical 1930s kitchen was bright and cheery. Linoleum was just coming into style, and a black-and-white checkered pattern was particularly popular. Most homes had refrigerators by this point, but many still employed wood-burning cook stoves. (The adjacent photo is a recreation of Henry Ford’s 1930s-era kitchen at the Henry Ford Museum.)

1940 kitchen

1940s: “The Postwar Splurge”

1940’s: Buy, Buy, Buy

World War II brought home improvement and remodeling projects to a standstill. The postwar era ushered in an explosion of new kitchen technology and a desire to spend. Ads encouraged families to return focus (and spending) to their kitchens in the 1940s.

1950 kitchen

1950s: Wallpaper and colored cabinets ruled.

1950’s: Lively and Limitless

Any color was welcome in kitchen trends of the 1950s, including pastel pink. Cabinet and appliance finishes ranged from wood-tones to white lacquer to blue enamel.

1960 kitchen

1960s: Order plus whimsy = a fun kitchen.

1960’s: Modern Fun

Homes built in the 1960s pursued cleaner lines and sleeker finishes, but maintained a fun, youthful feel. Punches of lime green or vermilion often accented stark white cabinetry and darker countertops.

1970 kitchen

1970s: A complete reversal from the light-hearted spark of the 1960s kitchen.

1970’s: Let’s Get Serious

Kitchens matured in the 1970s. Cabinet finishes darkened, and Formica countertops gradually replaced tile. Colorful appliances were still popular, but darker, more austere colors took over: drab green, sad brown, and downcast gold (okay, these aren’t the real color names, but these hues were seriously anti-cheer).

1980 kitchen

1980s: Cabinets go lighter, appliances normalize.

1980’s: Light at the End of the Tunnel

The 1980s saw a gradual lift in kitchen spirits. Cabinet stains became lighter (light oak became extremely popular), and appliance colors returned to some sense of normalcy (white, black, and ivory).

1990 kitchen

1990s: Kitchens become an entertaining space.

1990’s: An Entertaining Space

Homes and kitchens swelled through the 1990s. With the growth in size came an added function for the kitchen: entertaining/gathering space. The kitchen became the place where casual events were hosted, families recalled the day’s happenings, and more meals were prepared. Spacious islands served as the home’s “water cooler”, and became essential elements for the 1990s kitchen.

2000 kitchen

2000s: Gimme gimme gimme.

2000’s: We Want it All

There was no room for compromise in the kitchen of the 2000s. Latest appliances? Undoubtedly. Hottest countertop material? Can’t live without it. Brand new cabinets? Wouldn’t consider anything less. Early 21st century builders capitalized on easy financing and gave homeowners everything they wanted in a kitchen.


Home buyers: What do you want in your kitchen?

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