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Wells Fargo board can't duck investor claims over fake accounts

[SAN FRANCISCO] Wells Fargo & Co executives and directors accused of steering the bank into the worst scandal of its modern history were ordered to defend a lawsuit accusing them of profiting from the creation of millions of fake customer accounts.

A San Francisco federal judge ruled Wednesday that shareholders can proceed with a lawsuit alleging the company's top brass "repeatedly and brazenly" failed to serve Wells Fargo's best interests while rank-and-file bankers created more than 2 million accounts without consumers' consent.

The judge did, however, dismiss insider-trading claims under California law against chief executive officer Tim Sloan and chief risk officer Michael Loughlin, as well as former CEO John Stumpf and former head of community banking Carrie Tolstedt, both of whom left soon after the scandal broke.

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