QUEEN CITY NEWS – A former top Wells Fargo executive caught up in an obstruction case has agreed to a plea deal, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California announced on Wednesday.

Arizona resident Carrie Tolstedt, 63, pled guilty to obstructing a bank examination. Tolstedt also agreed to a ban from working in banking and pay a $17 million civil penalty, court records showed.

“The justice system and regulators rely on corporations and their executives to fully cooperate during investigations into potential wrongdoing. But, in this case, Ms. Tolstedt took steps to cover up misconduct at Wells Fargo,” said Acting United States Attorney Joseph T. McNally. “Obstructing an investigation compromises the mission of those seeking the truth, and we will hold accountable any individual who attempts to conceal wrongdoing.”

According to the DOJ, from 2007 to 2017, Tolstedt was senior executive vice president of community banking and head of the Community Bank. The bank operated Wells Fargo’s consumer and small retail banking business, including checking and savings accounts.

During her oversight, Tolstedt was made aware of sales practice misconduct that included millions of accounts opened without customer authorization, and the problematic activity was not addressed in its entirety, which hindered investigations by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The prison sentence Tolstedt faces is up to 16 months behind bars.

Wells Fargo paid a $3 billion penalty in 2020 in connection to the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolinas was part of the investigation and prosecution for the global Wells Fargo settlement.