What you need to know about the Wells Fargo/KPMG/Merrill Lynch settlement
Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $185 million to settle charges it helped customers avoid paying taxes on a $1.6 billion deal to settle federal and state tax fraud allegations, according to the Justice Department.
The deal comes less than a month after Wells Fargo was forced to pay about $190 million in civil penalties to U.S. authorities.
The settlement, which was announced Friday, resolves the federal and federal-state investigations into Wells Fargo’s improper activity that helped hundreds of millions of customers avoid federal income taxes.
Wells Fargo also will pay $75 million to the IRS, the Department of Justice said.
The bank’s admission that it had helped some customers avoid taxes came amid heightened scrutiny over the bank’s handling of customers’ accounts.
Wells said in its statement that it “never knowingly engaged in any of the activities described in the DOJ’s complaint.”
The bank said it “deeply regrets” its conduct.
Wells is also the subject of a separate civil lawsuit that accuses the bank of illegally paying back taxes to some customers.
The Justice Department announced a civil settlement with Wells in January 2017 after a class action was launched.
The DOJ said the bank “gave millions of Americans who owed taxes false information, misrepresented the amount of tax they owed, and improperly billed them for refunds.”
The government alleges that the bank misled customers about the amount and timing of the taxes owed.
Wells settled the DOJ lawsuit earlier this year with a settlement agreement that included $25 million to each of the class members.
Read more about Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo is a subsidiary of Bank of America Corp. The company was founded in 1876.
Its corporate headquarters are in Minneapolis.
The Bank of New York Mellon Corp. owns about 80% of Wells Fargo.
The other 80% is owned by Wells Fargo Holdings Inc., a holding company controlled by New York-based investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.