Federal prosecutors are in the early stages of an investigation into sales practices at Wells Fargo
, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Wells Fargo said last week it would pay $185 million in penalties and $5 million to customers that regulators say were pushed into fee-generating accounts they never requested for.
Prosecutors, who have issued a subpoena for Wells Fargo’s documents and materials, are yet to decide if any case, if pursued, would be along civil or criminal lines, the Journal reported.
The investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Southern District of New York and the Northern District of California, the WSJ said.
Wells Fargo investor Tim Smith said earlier on Wednesday it was “inevitable” that the company would face critical shareholder resolutions after the giant bank agreed to a $185 million settlement with regulators. Fortune reported on Monday that the executive who head of the division that at the center or the settlement, Carrie Tolstedt, left the bank in July with nearly $125 million in stock, options and restricted shares. So far Wells Fargo has declined to comment as to whether it would try to recoup some of that pay.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which settled with Wells Fargo over the phony accounts, does not have the ability to bring criminal charges. But it can refer a case to the Department of Justice for a criminal investigation. The CFPB declined to tell Fortune whether it had referred the Wells Fargo case.
Wells Fargo could not be immediately reached for comment.