Judge gives preliminary approve to Wells Fargo settlement

FILE - In this May 6, 2012, file photo, a Wells Fargo sign is displayed at a branch in New York. Wells Fargo said Tuesday, March 28, 2017, it will pay $110 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over up to 2 million accounts its employees opened for customers without getting their permission. (AP Photo/CX Matiash, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – Wells Fargo has received preliminary approval to pay out $142 million to customers affected by the bank’s sales practices scandal.

A federal judge gave preliminary approval Saturday to the deal that would settle claims over fraudulent accounts going back to 2002.

The San Francisco-based bank and lawyers for customers reached the agreement earlier this year over accounts that Wells Fargo staff had opened without permission as they sought to meet unrealistic sales goals set by management.

In September, Wells Fargo agreed to pay a combined $185 million fine to state and federal regulators. The biggest scandal in the bank’s history led to the abrupt retirement of its CEO, John Stumpf. Several other top executives have lost their jobs.

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