Quesada said she worked at a Wells Fargo in Milwaukee, Wisc., for the past five years before a recent background check revealed she had two convictions for shoplifting committed in 1972.
I think there's more important things in life than something that I did 40 years ago, she said to ABC KLTV. I did do the crime and, you know, I had just come out of high school.
Wells Fargo spokesman Jim Hines told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that due to legal requirements and changes in the regulatory environment, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage has been performing a thorough background check on all mortgage team members that includes a fingerprint check with the Federal Bureau of Investigation since 2010 on new employees, and on existing employees since last year.
Because Wells Fargo is an insured depository institution, we are bound by federal law that generally prohibits us from hiring or continuing the employment of any person who we know has a criminal record involving dishonesty or breach of trust.
Quesada, now 58, said she was just 18 when she shoplifted clothing from a Milwaukee department store twice in 1972. She was fined $50 for her first offence, and given one year probation for the second.
She told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that she was ashamed of her convictions and those arrests caused her to turn her life around.
I changed my life. I went to school. I went to college. I didn't graduate, but I did go and try to be a good person, she said.
Quesada worked in customer service at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. She was a celebrated employee that made $33,000 a year.
She said Wells Fargo did not give her a chance to explain her convictions before her termination.
I just got the FBI report on Saturday in the mail. Monday, they said you're fired. They never let me say what happened, explain myself, nothing, said Quesada to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Quesada said supervisors told her that the company pays attention to being more accountable. They said Wells Fargo wants to portray a very high image, she said to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Quesada has one other arrest on her background report. In 2001 she was suspected of battery against a man that she later married. She said he had fallen at work and injured himself. The case was never charged, reported Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
She said there is a chance she will receive unemployment benefits, but she really just wants to be employed again. I want my job back, she said. That's where I am right now.