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Photos reveal clear identity fraud at Equifax ex-CEO’s hearing

When Equifax recently announced hackers had compromised the personal information of more than 145 million Americans, worries about potential identity fraud started to swirl. On Wednesday, those fears were confirmed thanks to one particular attendee at a congressional hearing to interrogate the former Equifax CEO.

Mr. Monopoly sat close behind ex-CEO Richard Smith as he testified to the Senate Banking Committee, conspicuously distributing “Get out of jail free” cards and brow-wiping with dollar bills. The top hat, mustache, and pockets stuffed with cash conjured the spry mascot of the Monopoly board game, but this imposter was actually activist Amanda Werner, an arbitration campaign manager for Public Citizens and Americans for Financial Reform.


READ: Equifax’s ex CEO got crushed by Congress, but it won’t matter

Werner assumed the Mr. Monopoly identity in order to protest companies like Equifax’s tendency to bury arbitration clauses in their contracts — clauses that restrict people from taking their disputes to court and instead make them settle their problems through often secretive talks, according to a press release about the stunt. (The Supreme Court actually heard arguments in a lawsuit over some arbitration clauses’ constitutionality on Monday.)

“Make no mistake: Arbitration is a rigged game, one that the bank nearly always wins,” Werner said in a statement. “Shockingly, the average consumer forced to arbitrate with Wells Fargo was ordered to pay the bank nearly $11,000. Bank lobbyists and their allies in Congress are trying to overturn the CFPB’s rule so they can continue to rip off consumers with impunity.”

Wells Fargo’s CEO, Timothy Sloan, also appeared before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, in order to talk about the revelation last year that the bank had opened up millions of unwanted, fake accounts.

On Twitter, Werner appeared unrepentant about assuming another individual’s identity.