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Superstar investor Warren Buffett has slipped down to fourth position among the world's wealthiest people in the wake of a false account scandal at the major US bank Wells Fargo, Forbes magazine said Thursday.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is gauged to be worth 65.8 billion dollars and stands at number three, according to a list compiled by the magazine. The publication estimates that Buffett lost 1.3 billion dollars in the Wells Fargo fallout, dropping his worth to 65.5 billion dollars.

Standing atop the list is Microsoft founder Bill Gates, whom the magazine estimates is worth 79.1 billion dollars. In the second spot is Spanish Zara fashion magnate Amancio Ortega, who comes in at 76.9 billion dollars.

Wells Fargo shares have lost approximately 6 per cent of their value in the last five days. Buffett's investment concern Berkshire Hathaway had a 10-per-cent stake in the major bank. The investing legend personally held about 2 million shares.

In recent weeks Wells Fargo agreed to a fine of 185 million dollars imposed by US authorities, after bank employees admitted that they had opened unauthorized accounts under pressure to increase sales. Another 5 million dollars will go to customers who were affected by the practice.

The US Justice Department was involved in the matter, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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