The few remaining defenders of the Obama administration’s failure to prosecute the executives who helped cause the 2008 financial crisis argue that the bankers’ actions were unethical but not criminal. President Obama himself has made this claim: “Some of the most damaging behavior on Wall Street … wasn’t illegal,” he told Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes in December 2011.
The president might want to take this up with David Adier, who says he was victimized by Wells Fargo breaking and entering into his family’s home in Morris Township, New Jersey, and then committing property damage and theft. Burglary is a felony subject to prison time — if anybody but a bank does it.
Adier’s case is doubly disturbing because of what was taken: items his father retrieved from his family’s apartment in France before fleeing the Nazis in 1940, including a Kiddush cup, a Seder plate and a sewing machine used by his grandmother.
Adier has since filed suit against Wells Fargo. According to the complaint, Wells Fargo’s contractors deemed the house abandoned, despite explicit instructions that it was not. The house had been in Adier’s family for 40 years, Adier and his sister had grown up there, and Adier’s father had lived there until his death in August 2012. According to Adier, who lives 30 miles away in Bayonne, he missed two payments on the home’s mortgage over the next several months due to troubles with his small business. On November 29, 2012, Wells Fargo’s contractors illegally broke in for the first time.