Jones, Jr. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 11-10320 (5th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Court-appointed receiver brought suit against Wells Fargo for conversion and breach of contract with respect to a cashier's check purchased by W Financial Group that Wells Fargo reaccepted for deposit into an account other than that of the named payee, without the proper endorsement. The district court found Wells Fargo liable for conversion. On appeal, Wells Fargo argued that the district court erred in finding that it converted the check and in rejecting certain defenses. The court held that because Wells Fargo made payment on the cashier's check to CA Houston, an entity that was not entitled to enforce the instrument, Wells Fargo was liable for conversion under Tex. Bus. & Comm. Code 3.3420. The court also agreed that Wells Fargo was liable for conversion because it deposited the cashier's check without the necessary indorsement. The court further held that Wells Fargo could not rely upon the condition precedent in its Account Agreement to void liability for conversion of the cashier's check; the district court did not err in denying Wells Fargo's in pari delicto defense; and the court need not address the breach of contract issue. Accordingly, the judgment was affirmed.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on January 31, 2012.