Craig Lathan Walls Craig L Walls Craig Walls Joanna Oliver Walls Wells Fargo CW Investments CW Tech Solutions Jow Co Best Buy Long-term Deception, Fraudulent Investment Opportunity, Pathological Liar Soldotna Alaska
Craig Lathan Walls began working at the Kenai Wells Fargo in 2016 after moving to Alaska from Tupelo, Missisippi. He and his wife, Joanna Oliver Walls, moved to Alaska to be closer to her family. Immediately, Craig L. Walls began telling his boss and co-workers about a patent for a 2FA to a VPN he owned, eventually telling his co-workers he sold it and used the proceeds to build four four-plexes on land in Lee County, Missisippi that he inherited from a confederate ancestor who had received it in a "land grant" following the civil war.
He walked everyone through the process from bids, to breaking ground, to construction, to tenancy. He even had an ordeal where he had to petition and fight the county to extend the Kings Highway to make the apartments more accessible. He told coworkers he hired his former assistant manager, Lela, from Best Buy in Tupelo to manage his apartments for $60k a year. He claimed to be making $20,000 profit per month after paying the manager and the handyman.
He even pointed out the specific and distinct piece of land on Google maps, letting co-workers know it doesn't show up because the Google photos are old. He talked about eventually building a clubhouse and a pool for the apartment complexes and expressed being undecided as to whether or not he should pave the parking lot with or without sidewalks and that it would cost nearly double to pave it with sidewalks vs. without. Craig frequently chimed in with advice regarding real estate and rentals.
During the pandemic, Craig is promoted to manager of the branch. Everyone was really surprised by this, as the other candidates were much more qualified and did not have the same disciplinary track record Craig did. During this time he also filed for three new business licenses; CW Investments, CW Tech Solutions and Jow Co. On several occasions, he tried to convince people to "quit their job and work for him." In one instance, he offered a co-worker a $50,000 startup investment to quit working for Wells Fargo and start their own business.
He bragged about buying an "on site" version of Oracle NetSuite, a high-end accounting software, for $18,000. He explained it would be worth the expense to avoid being locked into subscription fees, and it would make it easier for his CPA (named Chad) in Tupelo to update his books remotely.
His apartments were doing so well, he invested in a friend's Mexican restaurant in Tupelo. He gets dividends and K-1s every year. He opens a trust with the profits and within months, he's making $10-20k a month just on returns from the trust. He begins talking about investing in a second location and offered co-workers the opportunity to "buy in" for $10,000, letting them know how well the first location is doing and how profitable it has been for him. He even told people they were "missing out" by not taking the opportunity.
He spoke of all his various investments on a near-daily basis to anyone who would listen. It was a constant conversation for him and everyone knew everything about them because of how frequently he brought it up and how extensively he discussed these things.
In the Spring of 2021 there was an incident with an employee where Craig essentially berated the employee and informed them they are "not allowed to tell him no." This abusive and authoratative behavior triggered doubt as to his management experience. Due to Best Buy's employment verification system, his management experience could not be verified immediately. When this couldn't be verified, his other stories were looking into and all of them were found to be false;
1. Craig has never owned a patent; ownership records are public and retained.
2. The distinct and specific piece of land Craig pointed out was updated in 2021 on Google maps and shows no apartments, despite the construction allegedly having been completed by 2018, nor does it show any extension of the highway to meet the land he pointed out.
3. The county confirmed via telephone that the highway had never been extended to meet the property located at the coordinates Craig pointed out.
4. The land Craig Lathan Walls pointed out is owned by a Coggins family and is currently being used as farmland.
5. Lela, the alleged apartment manager, was contacted about the apartments and denied any knowledge of any apartments and stated she does not work for Craig and does not want her name associated with him in any way.
6. Netsuite does not offer an “on-site” version of their software or any other non-subscription product.
7. Craig is not listed on any business licenses in Mississippi; for neither the Mexican restaurant nor the apartments. Both business ventures would require business licenses, especially considering he stated he was receiving K-1’s from the Mexican restaurant.
8. There are no CPAs in Tupelo named Chad.
9. There were no “land grants” offered to confederate soldiers in Mississippi; rather land bounties were offered in places like Iowa, Ohio and Tennessee.
10. For a trust to make $10,000-20,000 per month, it would need to have $2-4 million invested. According to Craig’s own stated expenses and profits, the most he would have in profits from the apartments would have been just shy of $500,000; nowhere near the amount it would take to earn the returns he stated he was receiving.
Craig was confronted about the lies, gently and kindly. Along the lines of "I value our friendship and I hope I am wrong, but everything I am finding leads me to believe I'm not." Initially Craig promised to provide proof, but by the end of the conversation he "did not owe anyone proof" and other people's "trust is not necessary." When told he was only proving it to be true, Craig asked "Who else knows? Who have you told?"
An EthicsLine report was filed by an employee in May of 2021 and Wells Fargo closed it without investigation approximately a month later. For the next eight months that employee was retaliated against; excluded from meetings they were normally included, no longer allowed to perform duties they normally did, and worst of all, Craig refused to speak to this employee verbally.
Craig would only communicate via email when absolutely necessary. He would not speak this employee, nor look him in the eye. Craig stopped offering this employee coaching and did not conduct the one-on-ones he was required to do as a manager. This employee became so stressed with the retaliation and hostile work environment that he quit his job.
After this employee quit, more lies were discovered. Craig claimed to have a private pilot license; this was confirmed false through the State of Alaska. He claimed to own 200+ 2oz gold confederate coins; these coins were fictional and mythical.
Additionally, I had personal interactions with Craig that suddenly made more sense once it was clear he was a liar.
In March of 2022 I found Craig on TikTok scolding other users for their moral shortcomings, even mockingly telling one user "accountability is a hard concept for some people." At that point, I decided to make this entire situation people. After doing so, Wells Fargo reached out to "learn more," and a second report was filed.
To their credit, they did investigate the second report, however, in July of 2022 I received notice the case had been closed and the investigation concluded. Through other sources, I know that retained Craig as manager, despite the evidence against him and despite his blatant violation of ethics polices. Wells Fargo clearly does not care about the significant and substantial risk to their customers.
1. Craig has demonstrated and displayed behavior that is not characteristic of a leader. He has shown his team that he is deceptive, unethical and untrustworthy. Wells Fargo’s Code of Ethics states that “Every employee is expected to be a leader.” A team cannot function under a leader that cannot be trusted to act ethically. If employees cannot trust the manager assigned to lead them, how can customers trust the bank? Team members cannot genuinely accept guidance, direction and coaching from someone known to be immoral, unethical and deceptive. It is an unfair and detrimental burden to place on a team to retain someone as manager that has demonstrated these behaviors.
2. Craig’s lies were financial in nature. He frequently offered financial opinions and advice based on these fictitious experiences he had never actually had. If someone were to take this advice, be it a co-worker or customer, they could suffer significant financial damages.
3. Craig attempted to cross the line between his fantasy world and real-world finances when he attempted to solicit investments from fellow team members into the fictitious Mexican restaurant, as well as when he offered a co-worker start-up money to quit their job with Wells Fargo and start their own business.
4. Craig has proven he is untrustworthy and poses a risk to the bank and yet he retains his access to thousands of customers’ sensitive financial information. This is extremely concerning considering the fact all of his lies revolved around financial success. There is no telling what purposes he could use his access to this information for, nor is the bank protecting its customers by retaining this risk.
5. Craig’s behavior follows the patterns of many well-known con artists, such as Anna Delvey, Frank Abagnale and Brent Garry Murray, all of which participated in social engineering, building false reputations of extreme financial success in order to collect money and defraud unsuspecting people under the guise of “investment opportunities.” Craig attempted to do just that when soliciting investments from co-workers for “round two” of the Mexican restaurant.