Cheronda Guyton was living the high life in a $12 million 3,800 square foot beachfront house in the exclusive enclave of Malibu County. The home Guyton and her family resided in was the scene of many lavish galas that lasted well into the night.
Neighbors wondered how a Wells Fargo bank VP could afford the beachfront property's $60,000 a month rent on her salary -- even with bonuses.
The problem is the Senior Vice President in charge of foreclosed properties at Wells Fargo, wasn't renting or buying the posh home.
The previous owners, who lost money in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, turned the home over to Wells Fargo bank to pay off a higher debt.
The bank agreed not to sell the home so the owners could align their debts and get it back. Guyton and her family moved in shortly thereafter.
According to the LA Times, Wells Fargo last week announced Guyton's termination for the executive's alleged personal use of the home owned by the bank.
Wells Fargo announced it would "take decisive action" against any employee "who may have violated Wells Fargo's policies." The bank in a statement also said it regretted "the disruption to the neighboring property owners since these allegations were made."
Many real estate agents contacted by The Times expressed surprise and said they had not heard of similar incidents.
An agent with Keller Williams Realty, told The Times she was "appalled" by the alleged conduct and what appeared to be an obvious abuse of a position.
But one agent, Farrell "Burt" Bakman of Coldwell Banker in Beverly Hills, believes Wells Fargo knew about the illegal home squatting. He said he saw no problem with a lender using a property "as some sort of a bonus" for their executives.
"It makes sense," he said. "It's thinking outside of the box for Wells Fargo. They just hold on to it as an asset."
Thanks to loyal reader Kimalah for the tip!