U.S. seeks new defendant in Wells Fargo mortgage fraud case


NEW YORK, Nov 7 (Reuters) - The U.S. government on Thursdayasked for permission to add a Wells Fargo & Co mortgageexecutive as a defendant in its year-old lawsuit accusing thecountry's largest mortgage lender of fraud.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman inManhattan, who oversees the case, the Department of Justice saidthe Wells Fargo vice president played a "pivotal role" inallegedly causing the bank to submit deficient home loans to agovernment insurance program.

The Justice Department said it intends to sue the individualunder the federal False Claims Act and the FinancialInstitutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989.

Wells Fargo believes that adding the employee as a defendantis "unwarranted" and would disrupt the case, according to theletter, which is also signed by lawyers for the bank.

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