U.S. bank regulator fines Wells Fargo's former general counsel for role in sales scandal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. bank regulator has fined Wells Fargo’s former general counsel, James Strother, $3.5 million for his role in the bank’s wide-ranging sales scandal.

The fine, announced Friday by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, is part of a settlement struck between Strother and the government.

Strother was one of eight former senior bank executives charged by the OCC one year ago for their roles in the bank’s multi-year sales practices scandal.

Strother was among several of the executives charged who initially refused to settle, with his lawyer saying at the time that Strother had acted with “utmost integrity.”

The OCC had charged that senior executives either were aware of significant problems across the bank’s sales practices, or should have been, and originally sought a $5 million penalty from Strother.

“Jim Strother is an honorable man who dedicated over 30 years in the service of Wells Fargo,” his attorney said in a statement. “He retired in 2017, and is pleased to put this matter behind him.”

Under the terms of the settlement, the OCC said Strother would agree to cooperate with the regulator with any other probes related to the sales scandal.

Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Editing by Nick Macfie