(August 31, 2020. Los Angeles, CA). Reif Law Group, P.C. and The Lovell Firm, P.C. are seeking in excess of $50 million in damages from Wells Fargo and its San Diego financial advisor Jeffrey N. Tadder, a Certified Financial PlannerTM practitioner, for breach of fiduciary duty and related torts for abandoning their fiduciary duty to render investment and tax mitigation advice in the customers’ best interest. [Donald J. Dougher et al v Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, et al (San Diego Sup. Ct., Case No. 37-2020-00025859-CU-FR-CTL)]
According to the civil complaint, Tadder failed to provide the customer with an investment and tax mitigation strategy for his $31.5 million in cash from the sale of a business. The customer alleges that Tadder acted in his own self-interest by guiding the customer to borrow money from a Wells Fargo line of credit and to park his assets at Wells Fargo instead of investing assets in a manner consistent with the high standards of an investment fiduciary and a Certified Financial Planner. The complaint also alleges that Tadder dissuaded the customer from pursuing federal approved Opportunity Zone investments, which offered similarly situated investors very attractive tax savings.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Brandon S. Reif said: “Had the defendants presented a financial plan with tax mitigation strategies, my client’s wealth would have been preserved and grown.” Reif added, “An investment advisor’s duty to provide skilled advice applies with equal force for the wealthy client.”
To compound the wrongdoing, the complaint alleges that Tadder caused withdrawals from the line of credit leading Dougher to believe that he was using his cash in the Wells Fargo account, and only later learned that Tadder was using borrowed funds that carried exorbitant interest and fees.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Tre Lovell said, “As the detailed facts demonstrate in the complaint, this is one of the most brazen and egregious dereliction of financial duties and mismanagement that I have seen. This case appears to be just another instance in a Wells Fargo track record of regulatory malfeasance, and we intend to remedy the wrongs and seek redress for our client.”
About Reif Law Group, P.C
Reif Law Group, P.C. is California’s preeminent boutique trial and litigation law firm for securities and business disputes. The firm prosecutes and defends court and arbitration actions involving securities, investments and real estate, professional liability, corporate and shareholder, financial abuse, workplace misconduct involving harassment, discrimination, recruitment and Form U5, and business disruption and restraining order actions involving non-compete, non-solicit and confidentiality clauses.
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