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U.S. seeks to add Wells Fargo exec as fraud defendant

A woman walks past teller machines at a Wells Fargo bank in San Francisco, California October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
A woman walks past teller machines at a Wells Fargo bank in San Francisco, California October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. government on Friday sought permission to add Wells Fargo & Co executive Kurt Lofrano as a defendant in its year-old lawsuit accusing the bank of fraud.

In a motion filed in Manhattan federal court, the Justice Department said Lofrano played a "critical role" in the bank's alleged failure to report defective home loans to the government.

Wells Fargo, the country's largest mortgage lender and fourth-largest bank, is accused of misleading the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development into believing the loans qualified for insurance from the agency's Federal Housing Administration, costing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

Lofrano's lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(This story corrects to show that Lofrano remains an executive with Wells Fargo)

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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