Outraged neighbors ratted on a Wells Fargo & Co. employee who threw lavish parties at a foreclosed home in pricey Malibu, Calif. The bank said Monday that the employee had been fired.
The Los Angeles Times first reported earlier that 39 year old Cheronda Guyton, a Wells Fargo senior vice president responsible for foreclosed commercial properties and a seventeen year veteran of the bank, spent weekends at the house, hosting parties that caught the attention of neighbors.
Wells Fargo took possession last May of a 3,800 square foot beachfront mansion. The previous owner was reportedly wiped out by the Ponzi scheme run by Bernard Madoff. It was valued at $12 million when it was taken back by the bank in May.
Instead of putting the property up for sale or letting it stand empty while the foreclosure was completed, Cheronda Guyton, senior vice president in charge of commercial foreclosed properties for the bank, apparently used the place to entertain friends, including transporting guests from a yacht moored offshore.
After neighbors cried foul, Wells Fargo investigated and identified Guyton as the culprit. Monday, the company said in a statement, “We deeply regret the activities that have taken place as they do not reflect the conduct we expect of our team members.”
Malibu Mayor Andy Stern, who also happens to be a real estate agent, told Reuters that the house could lease for $150,000 a month.
Wells says the house was kept off the market under an agreement with the prior owners. “Our investigation concluded a single team member was responsible for violating our company policies,” Wells said in a statement. “As a result, employment of this individual has been terminated. We deeply regret the activities that have taken place as they do not reflect the conduct we expect of our team members.”
Malibu Colony is one of the city’s first and still most exclusive neighborhoods. It has been the playpen of celebrities going back to Bing Crosby’s days