Summary of the Lawsuit

On March 13, 2020, a participant in Wells Fargo & Company 401(k) Plan (the “Plan”) filed a class action lawsuit challenging the management of the Plan. The action is brought on behalf of all participants and beneficiaries of the Wells Fargo & Company 401(k) Plan who invested in any of the affiliated funds. Plaintiff alleges that the Wells Fargo Defendants violated federal law during the Class Period by repeatedly and improperly selecting investment options affiliated with Wells Fargo & Company for the Plan, despite the higher fees and poorer performance of the affiliated funds, which benefitted Wells Fargo & Company at the expense of Wells Fargo’s employees.

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), the federal law that sets minimum standards for retirement plans, including the Wells Fargo & Company 401(k) Plan, companies are required to act prudently and solely in the interest of the Plan’s participants when making decisions with respect to the investment of their employees’ retirement savings in company benefit plans. Plaintiff alleges that Wells Fargo & Company did not, as required by law, select or retain Plan investments that were in the best interest of participants, but instead, simply chose and retained the investments that benefited Wells Fargo’s bottom line. (See “Summary of the Claims,” below)

The lawsuit alleges that Wells Fargo improperly earned profits at the expense of its employees, who paid excessive fees and have suffered losses due to investment underperformance. The lawsuit seeks to compensate Wells Fargo employees who participated in the 401(k) Plan.

Summary of the Claims

The lawsuit alleges that Wells Fargo & Company and its affiliates have violated numerous provisions of ERISA by, among other things:

  • Breaching their fiduciary duties by failing to prudently and loyally select and monitor investments for the Plan;
  • Breaching their fiduciary duties by failing to remove and prudently and loyally monitor committee defendants;
  • Breaching their fiduciary duties by engaging in multiple prohibited transactions with Plan assets.

Class Action

In a class action case, one or more individuals— called class representatives—file a lawsuit on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated individuals who have similar legal claims. This procedure permits the claims of a large number of people to proceed in one lawsuit and ensures that all similarly situated persons are treated consistently.

This lawsuit is brought as a class action on behalf of all participants and beneficiaries of the Wells Fargo & Company 401(k) Plan. Excluded from the Class are Defendants and members of their immediate families or any of their heirs, successors, or assigns.

Status of the Litigation

Plaintiff filed a Class Action Complaint on March 13, 2020 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (captioned Becker v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., Case No. 4:20-cv-01803). The case is currently assigned to the Honorable Kandis A. Westmore, United States Magistrate Judge.

Whom to Contact for More Information

If you believe you may be part of one of these classes, or if you have information which might assist us in the prosecution of these allegations, please fill out our questionnaire or contact one of the following persons:

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC
1100 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20005
Telephone: 888-240-0775 (Toll Free) or 202-408-4600

Cohen Milstein’s co-counsel in this case are Nina Wasow, Esq., and Todd Jackson, Esq., of the law firm of Feinberg, Jackson, Worthman & Wasow, LLP, 2030 Addison Street, Suite 500 Berkeley, CA 94704.