Bank Of America Fires Investment Banker Over 1998 Dine & Dash At Denny’s

More than a few people are upset at large financial institutions for their apparent lack of accountability following the 2008 economic collapse, so the banks and their regulators have paid lip service to the idea of having tougher standards. As a result, one investment banker says he was fired from Bank of America for a minor breakfast-related misunderstanding from 1998.

The former BofA staffer was a wealth manager in the company’s Houston office and had been with the bank since 2006. Then in July 2011, he gets the bad news that a new, compulsory background check turned up a supposed conviction that disqualified him from working as a mortgage originator.

The incident, the man tells the Houston Chronicle, dates back 14 years to a breakfast at Denny’s with a pal. He says that each man mistakenly thought the other had paid the bill, so they were stopped outside the restaurant by a manager who had called the police on them.

Officers arrested the two men, who each paid a $50 fine on top of the Denny’s bill. However, the charges were later dismissed.

Which is why the banker was so confused when BofA told him about his “disqualifying conviction.”

He says that he provided the bank all the documents it needed to get a waiver from the FDIC that would allow him to continue working. BofA began the waiver process, but had to put the employee on unpaid leave during the lengthy appeal.

The bank told him that the waiver was a sure thing, but after about seven months of still no answer from the FDIC, BofA cut the man loose, saying it could no longer wait.

Of course, only a couple weeks later the FDIC finally came through with the waiver as promised, but the employee was not offered his old job back. Instead, he was allowed to apply for the gig, though he would lose his seniority and he would not get the back pay that BofA had promised he’d receive if the waiver was granted.

As for that initial non-crime, the man states, “There was no intent for not paying for an omelet.”