Restraining Orders Issued in Wells Fargo Client-Data Release

By Michael Wursthorn Features Dow Jones Newswires

Two courts issued temporary restraining orders blocking a former Wells Fargo & Co. broker and his attorneys from sharing or reviewing data accidentally shared with them on tens of thousands of the bank's wealth-advisory clients.

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The information was released in response to a subpoena relating to the former broker's defamation lawsuit against his brother, who is a current Wells Fargo adviser.

The disclosure came to light after Aaron Zeisler, an attorney at Zeisler PLLC in New York representing former Wells Fargo broker Gary Sinderbrand, last week informed a Wells Fargo lawyer that he had received documents that "include social security numbers, account numbers, names, addresses, telephone numbers and other personal identifying information" for tens of thousands of Wells Fargo wealth-management clients, according to a letter reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

State judges in New York and New Jersey on Wednesday ordered Messrs. Sinderbrand and Zeisler, as well as attorney Andrew Miller, from any further review or dissemination of the Wells Fargo client data, according to separate restraining orders.

The judge in New Jersey, Joseph Marczyk, ordered Mr. Sinderbrand and his lawyers to destroy any electronic copies of the client data, as well as turn over any hard copies to the court. Hearings are scheduled to be held on the matter on Aug. 10 and Sept. 1 in New York and New Jersey, respectively.

Mr. Zeisler declined to comment, while Mr. Miller didn't immediately return a phone call. A separate letter from Mr. Zeisler had suggested that he and Mr. Sinderbrand don't expect to make the information public and would return the documents "at the appropriate time."

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A Wells Fargo spokeswoman said in a statement that the bank is pleased with the court decisions. The rulings are "a positive result of our ongoing efforts to make things right," she said.

--Lisa Beilfuss contributed to this article.

Write to Michael Wursthorn at Michael.Wursthorn@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 26, 2017 18:14 ET (22:14 GMT)