Former Wells Fargo Employee Receives a $384,000 Award

Posted on May 19th, 2017 at 12:22 PM
Former Wells Fargo Employee Receives a $384,000 Award

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law LLC:

What started as a six-figure claim against a former Wells Fargo broker for alleged misconduct has resulted in a six-figure award for the former broker. This post will summarize what happened.

In 2015, Wells Fargo Advisors filed a statement of claim against a former employee named Joel Jacobs alleging that he sent an inappropriate letter to his clients in violation of the Protocol for Broker Recruiting. The causes of action in Wells Fargo’s statement of claim included breach of contract, conversion, tortious interference with business relations, misappropriation of trade secrets, copyright infringement and contributory copyright infringement, and unfair competition.

More specifically, according to Wells Fargo, after Mr. Jacobs resigned from his position at the firm, he was suspected of mailing an unauthorized "inquiry" letter to firm customers in an attempt to expand the list of individuals who he could solicit upon his resignation. Mr. Jacobs denied Wells Fargo’s allegations and he filed a counterclaim seeking repayment of commissions and lost income.

In Mr. Jacobs’ counterclaim, he asserted that he and James Pekelder (a former partner) purchased books of business from two retiring members and that he was unjustly stripped of clients, assets under management, and the income they produced. Mr. Jacobs also denied sending the "inquiry” letter.

In addition, Mr. Jacobs filed a third-party claim against his former partner Mr. Pekelder. In his third-party claim, Mr. Jacobs alleged that Mr. Pekelder harassed him and took unreasonable and inflammatory actions against him to further reduce his income.

At the conclusion of the arbitration hearing, the panel found Mr. Jacobs liable for the sum of $6,507.00 in compensatory damages and $22,694.30 in attorneys’ fees. However, the panel also found that Wells Fargo and Mr. Pekelder were jointly and severally liable and awarded Mr. Jacobs $413,000.00 in compensatory damages. In all, the amounts were offset and Wells Fargo and Mr. Pekelder were jointly and severally liable to pay Mr. Jacobs a sum of $384,773.70.

The attorneys of Eccleston Law LLC represent investors and advisors nationwide in securities and employment matters. The securities lawyers at Eccleston Law also practice a variety of other areas of practice for financial advisors including Broker Litigation & Arbitration, Strategic Consulting Services, Regulatory  Matters, Transition Contract Review, and much more. Our attorneys draw on a combined experience of nearly 65 years in delivering the highest quality legal services. If you are in need of legal services, contact us to schedule a one-on-one consultation today.

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Thank you for your professional assistance with this matter. You are very good at what you do.

John T.


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