Charles Schwab and Co. Inc. filed a lawsuit in federal court against two former employees and a Florida advisory firm, alleging they stole client information and used it illegally to solicit clients.
Schwab filed the suit on October 17 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida against Camelot Wealth Management LLC, Ivan Sanabria and Gary Husel. The suit lists various charges against the defendants, including misappropriation and misuse of trade secrets and unfair competition. It also charges the two individuals with breach of contract, among other counts.
According to the court papers, Sanabria was an employee of the Schwab Tampa office and Husel was an employee of the Schwab Sarasota office. Both voluntarily resigned from their jobs and went to work for Camelot Wealth Management in offices in the same towns where they worked for Schwab.
Brian Mahoney, who is managing partner and chief compliance officer at Camelot, also was a Schwab employee until he left to start Camelot with his wife, Melissa. Sanabria and Husel, who are now senior financial advisors at Camelot, sometimes reported to Mahoney when they were all at Schwab, the lawsuit says. Neither of the Mahoneys are charged in the Schwab suit.
Schwab charges that around the time of his resignation, Sanabria accessed information on Schwab clients late at night and on weekends. He and Husel used the information to solicit high-net-worth clients for Camelot, the court papers say.
All Schwab employees sign contracts agreeing not to take information from Schwab and agreeing not to contact Schwab clients for 18 months after they leave.
Schwab says it filed the suit after its clients began to complain of receiving solicitations from Sanabria and Husel as employees of Camelot using information to which they should no longer have had access.
Schwab is asking the court for an injunction preventing the individuals from contacting Schwab clients or prospects and preventing them from continuing to use the information obtained from Schwab files. It is asking for damages to be paid by the firm.
Attempts to contact Camelot Wealth Management, an RIA registered with the SEC, were not successful. The suit says the incidents in question happened in 2013 and 2014 in various locations in Florida.