while the rat’s away

In a nutshell this is what happened:

Bernard L. Madoff’s massive fraud stunned some of the wealthy denizens of Malibu Colony, especially when a couple devastated by the scheme surrendered their oceanfront home to Wells Fargo Bank.

But some neighbors say the real shocker came when they saw one of the bank’s top executives spending weekends in the $12-million beach house and hosting eye-catching parties there. What’s more, Wells Fargo spurned offers to show the property to prospective buyers, a real estate agent said.

“It’s outrageous to take over a property like that, not make it available and then put someone from the bank in it,” said Phillip Roman, an 18-year Colony resident who lives a few homes away from the property.

Residents identified the house’s occupant as Cheronda Guyton, a Wells Fargo senior vice president who is responsible for foreclosed commercial properties.

Update 9/15 – Wells Fargo fires executive who partied at repossessed Malibu mansion

“For an executive at the US bank Wells Fargo, a repossessed $12m beach house in southern California proved just too tempting.

The financial institution has fired a top loans officer for using a luxurious Malibu property for a series of family getaways, culminating in a summer party at which guests arrived by yacht.”