Wells Fargo settles with Navajo Nation

Banking giant to pay $6.5 million for defrauding tribe

All is not Wells Fargo

Banking giant Wells Fargo agreed in a settlement to pay $6.5 million to the Navajo Nation after attempts to defraud the tribe. The Navajo Nation's complaint alleged that Wells Fargo preyed on it from 2009 to 2016 by opening fake bank accounts, stalking local events, and pressuring seniors who did not speak English to pay for unneeded services. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in the Navajo Times, "We held Wells Fargo accountable for their actions and we will continue to hold other companies accountable if their business practices do not respect our people — this puts other companies on notice that harmful business practices against the Navajo people will not be tolerated."

And they don’t stop comin’

Los Alamos National Labs has been hit with yet more fines for hazardous waste safety violations totaling more than $220,000. In addition to mishandling new waste, there's also the old waste to contend with, Santa Fe Reporter's Leah Cantor reports. According to contracted cleanup company N3B and the Department of Energy, clean-up of legacy sites (that means stuff dating back all the way to when Los Alamos was still a secret) is already more than halfway complete as the result of nearly three decades of cleanup and remediation projects, but questions of how clean is "clean" still remain.

Will it stick this time?

Santa Femous hotelier Alan Affeldt, with his affinity for establishments along historic railroad lines, plans to reopen Lamy's watering hole The Legal Tender, next month. The Journal takes a look at what Affeldt is up to on multiple projects and quotes him expressing hope that he can be the one to make the business work, as multiple owners have struggled with the location. And speaking of businesses reopening (but in an entirely different manner), Santa Fe fine dining establishment Sazón plans to reopen ($ TNM) in early September after a damaging fire in May.

Shooting in Hobbs

A house party in Hobbs turned deadly when a gunman fired shots, harming four people and killing three. A 19-year-old has been arrested in conjunction with the incident; he has been charged with aggravated battery, but police say he could face additional counts as the investigation unfolds.

Teens take top honors

After traveling to China to compete in an entrepreneurship competition, Española teens got a thrill when their plant-watering machine took first place ($ TNM). "I got the idea from how important farming is to Northern New Mexico, but farming is universal," said Brandon Sandoval, a 14-year-old freshman at Mesa Vista High School. "Everyone around the world does it. I think that gave us an edge."

Not goin’ nowhere

State Sen. Richard Martinez of District 5 (that's Rio Arriba, Los Alamos, Sandoval and Santa Fe counties), who was recently arrested for drunken driving, told the Journal that he will not resign and will even seek reelection next year. The state Republican Party has called on Martinez, a Democrat, to resign; the governor didn't call for his resignation, but did say that no one is above the law and that elected officials should be held to a higher standard.

Safety in numbers?

Organizers of a multicultural event on the Southside, slated for October, expressed concern at a meeting last week that it might not be safe for people of Latino ancestry to gather in one place at one time, given the acts of racism perpetrated by civilians and law enforcement alike across the country as of late. Santa Fe is a sanctuary city, so law enforcement actions should be kept at bay, and Mayor Alan Webber said that cops would keep a close eye on social media for "manifestos." It's still unclear whether the event will go on.

Pre- and post-contact fashion

In case you missed it, Vogue magazine had a whole article and some gorgeous pictures of Indian Market participants in traditional dress. The magazine also has a feature about lingerie line Shy Natives, which was featured in Sunday's haute couture fashion show (and by the way, if you missed that event this year, don't sleep on it in 2020. It's one of the coolest parts of the weekend).


Yesterday was hot (Farmington and Clayton both tied with their hottest days in history). And today's gonna be hot, too. Hide in the shade if you can.

Thanks for reading! The Word had weird dreams last night. Maybe it was the mac and cheese she ate in bed.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story erred in the opening date for Legal Tender. It's next month, not now. Sorry 'bout that. 

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