SOURCE: Stull, Stull & Brody

December 09, 2005 11:03 ET

Stull, Stull & Brody Announces Class Action Against Wells Fargo & Company on Behalf of Those Who Purchased Hartford Mutual Funds From Wells Fargo

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 9, 2005 -- Notice is hereby given that a class action lawsuit was filed on November 4, 2005 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Wells Fargo & Company and certain of its affiliates, on behalf of those who purchased Hartford mutual funds from Wells Fargo Investments, LLC ("Wells Fargo Investments") during the period between June 30, 2000 and June 8, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

If you purchased Hartford mutual funds, Wells Fargo mutual funds, or any funds participating in the Wells Fargo and H.D. Vest Investment Services, LLC ("H.D. Vest") revenue sharing programs ("Wells Fargo Preferred Funds" and "H.D. Vest Preferred Funds," as defined below) through a Wells Fargo Investments or H.D. Vest broker between June 30, 2000 and June 8, 2005, inclusive, and sustained damages, you may, no later than January 10, 2006, request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff. A lead plaintiff is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed lead plaintiff, the Court must determine that the class member's claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class. Under certain circumstances, one or more class members may together serve as "lead plaintiff." Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff. You may retain Stull, Stull & Brody, or other counsel of your choice, to serve as your counsel in this action. Stull, Stull & Brody has litigated many class actions for violations of securities laws in federal courts over the past 30 years and has obtained court approval of substantial settlements on numerous occasions. Stull, Stull & Brody maintains offices in both New York and Los Angeles.

The Hartford mutual funds and their respective symbols are as follows:

Hartford Advisers (NASDAQ: ITTAX) (NASDAQ: IHABX) (NASDAQ: HAFCX)
(NASDAQ: IHAYX) (NASDAQ: HADAX) (NASDAQ: HAIBX)
Hartford Blue Chip (NASDAQ: HBCIX)
Hartford Capital Appreciation (NASDAQ: ITHAX) (NASDAQ: IHCAX)
(NASDAQ: HCACX) (NASDAQ: HCAYX) (NASDAQ: HIACX) (NASDAQ: HIBCX)
Hartford Capital Opportunities (NASDAQ: HCOIX)
Hartford Disciplined Equity (NASDAQ: HAIAX) (NASDAQ: HGIBX)
(NASDAQ: HGICX) (NASDAQ: HGIYX) (NASDAQ: HIAGX) (NASDAQ: HBGIX)
Hartford Dividend & Growth (NASDAQ: IHGIX) (NASDAQ: ITDGX) (NASDAQ: HDGCX)
(NASDAQ: HDGYX) (NASDAQ: HIADX) (NASDAQ: HDGBX)
Hartford Equity Income (NASDAQ: HQIAX) (NASDAQ: HQIBX) (NASDAQ: HQICX)
(NASDAQ: HQIYX) (NASDAQ: HIAEX) (NASDAQ: HIBEX)
Hartford Focus (NASDAQ: HFFAX) (NASDAQ: HFFBX) (NASDAQ: HFFCX)
(NASDAQ: HFFYX) (NASDAQ: HIAFX) (NASDAQ: HFCBX)
Hartford Global Advisers (NASDAQ: HGAAX) (NASDAQ: HGABX)
Hartford Global Communications (NASDAQ: HGCAX) (NASDAQ: HGCBX)
(NASDAQ: HGCCX) (NASDAQ: HGCYX) (NASDAQ: HGCIX) (NASDAQ: HBGCX)
Hartford Global Financial Svcs (NASDAQ: HGFAX) (NASDAQ: HGFBX)
(NASDAQ: HGFCX) (NASDAQ: HGFYX) (NASDAQ: HFIAX) (NASDAQ: HBGFX)
Hartford Global Health (NASDAQ: HGHAX) (NASDAQ: HGHBX) (NASDAQ: HGHCX)
(NASDAQ: HGHYX) (NASDAQ: HIAHX) (NASDAQ: HBGHX)
Hartford Global Leaders (NASDAQ: HALAX) (NASDAQ: HGLBX) (NASDAQ: HGLCX)
(NASDAQ: HGLYX) (NASDAQ: HIALX) (NASDAQ: HBGLX)
Hartford Global Technology (NASDAQ: HGTAX) (NASDAQ: HGTBX) (NASDAQ: HGTCX)
(NASDAQ: HGTYX) (NASDAQ: HIATX) (NASDAQ: HBGTX)
Hartford Growth (NASDAQ: HGWAX) (NASDAQ: HGWBX) (NASDAQ: HGWCX)
(NASDAQ: FECHX) (NASDAQ: HGIAX) (NASDAQ: HBGRX) (NASDAQ: FECLX)
(NASDAQ: FECBX) (NASDAQ: FECCX)
Hartford Growth Opportunities (NASDAQ: HGOAX) (NASDAQ: HGOBX)
(NASDAQ: HGOCX) (NASDAQ: FGRHX) (NASDAQ: HAGOX) (NASDAQ: HBGOX)
(NASDAQ: FGRWX) (NASDAQ: FGRBX) (NASDAQ: FGRCX) (NASDAQ: HGOYX)
(NASDAQ: FGRZX) (NASDAQ: HGWYX)
Hartford High Yield (NASDAQ: HAHAX) (NASDAQ: HAHBX) (NASDAQ: HAHCX)
(NASDAQ: HIAYX) (NASDAQ: HBHYX) (NASDAQ: HAHYX)
Hartford Income (NASDAQ: HTIAX) (NASDAQ: HTIBX) (NASDAQ: HTICX)
(NASDAQ: HTIYX)
Hartford Index (NASDAQ: HIAIX) (NASDAQ: HBIDX)
Hartford Inflation Plus (NASDAQ: HIPAX) (NASDAQ: HIPBX) (NASDAQ: HIPCX)
(NASDAQ: HIPYX)
Hartford International Opp (NASDAQ: HIAOX) (NASDAQ: HBIOX)
Hartford International Stock (NASDAQ: HAISX)
Hartford Intl Capital Appr (NASDAQ: HNCAX) (NASDAQ: HNCBX) (NASDAQ: HNCCX)
(NASDAQ: HNCYX) (NASDAQ: HNCIX) (NASDAQ: HBICX)
Hartford Intl Opportunities (NASDAQ: IHOAX) (NASDAQ: HIOBX)
(NASDAQ: HIOCX) (NASDAQ: HAOYX)
Hartford Intl Small Company (NASDAQ: HNSAX) (NASDAQ: HNSBX)
(NASDAQ: HNSCX) (NASDAQ: HNSIX) (NASDAQ: HBISX) (NASDAQ: HNSYX)
Hartford Large Cap Growth (NASDAQ: HLGCX)
Hartford Mid Cap Value (NASDAQ: HMVAX) (NASDAQ: HMVBX) (NASDAQ: HMVCX)
(NASDAQ: HMVYX)
Hartford Midcap (NASDAQ: HFMCX) (NASDAQ: HAMBX) (NASDAQ: HMDCX)
(NASDAQ: HIMCX) (NASDAQ: HBMCX) (NASDAQ: HMDYX)
Hartford MidCap Stock (NASDAQ: HMCSX)
Hartford MidCap Value (NASDAQ: HMVIX) (NASDAQ: HBMVX)
Hartford Mortgage Securities (NASDAQ: HMSIX) (NASDAQ: HBMGX)
Hartford Short Duration (NASDAQ: HSDAX) (NASDAQ: HSDBX) (NASDAQ: HSDCX)
(NASDAQ: HSDYX)
Hartford Small Cap Growth (NASDAQ: HSLAX) (NASDAQ: HSLBX) (NASDAQ: HSLCX)
(NASDAQ: FACHX) (NASDAQ: FACAX) (NASDAQ: FACBX) (NASDAQ: FACCX)
(NASDAQ: HSLYX)
Hartford Small Cap Value (NASDAQ: HSCGX) (NASDAQ: HBSCX)
Hartford Small Company (NASDAQ: IHSAX) (NASDAQ: HSCBX) (NASDAQ: HSMCX)
(NASDAQ: HIASX) (NASDAQ: HDMBX) (NASDAQ: HSCYX)
Hartford SmallCap Growth (NASDAQ: HISCX) (NASDAQ: HBSGX)
Hartford Stock (NASDAQ: IHSTX) (NASDAQ: ITSBX) (NASDAQ: HSFCX)
(NASDAQ: HSTAX) (NASDAQ: HIBSX) (NASDAQ: HASYX)
Hartford Tax-Free CA (NASDAQ: HTFAX) (NASDAQ: HTFBX) (NASDAQ: HTFCX)
Hartford Tax-Free MN (NASDAQ: HTMAX) (NASDAQ: HTMBX) (NASDAQ: HTMCX)
(NASDAQ: FTMNX) (NASDAQ: FTMHX) (NASDAQ: FTMAX) (NASDAQ: FTMBX)
(NASDAQ: FTMCX) (NASDAQ: HTMYX)
Hartford Tax-Free National (NASDAQ: HTNAX) (NASDAQ: HTNBX) (NASDAQ: HTNCX)
(NASDAQ: FTNLX) (NASDAQ: FTNHX) (NASDAQ: FTNAX) (NASDAQ: FTNBX)
(NASDAQ: FTNKX) (NASDAQ: HTNYX)
Hartford Tax-Free NY (NASDAQ: HTYAX) (NASDAQ: HTYBX) (NASDAQ: HTYCX)
Hartford Total Return Bond (NASDAQ: ITBAX) (NASDAQ: ITBBX) (NASDAQ: HABCX)
(NASDAQ: HIABX) (NASDAQ: HBNBX) (NASDAQ: HABYX)
Hartford U.S. Government Secs (NASDAQ: HAUSX) (NASDAQ: HBUSX)
(NASDAQ: HUSAX) (NASDAQ: HUSBX) (NASDAQ: HUSCX) (NASDAQ: FIUGX)
(NASDAQ: FIUHX) (NASDAQ: FIUAX) (NASDAQ: FIPBX) (NASDAQ: FIUCX)
(NASDAQ: HUSYX)
Hartford Value (NASDAQ: HVFAX) (NASDAQ: HVFBX) (NASDAQ: HVFCX)
Hartford Value (NASDAQ: HIAVX) (NASDAQ: HBVLX)
Hartford Value Opportunities (NASDAQ: HVOAX) (NASDAQ: HVOBX)
(NASDAQ: HVOCX) (NASDAQ: FVAHX) (NASDAQ: HAVOX) (NASDAQ: HBVOX)
(NASDAQ: FVAAX) (NASDAQ: FVABX) (NASDAQ: FRVCX) (NASDAQ: HVOYX)
Hartford Value (NASDAQ: HVFYX)
The Wells Fargo Preferred Funds include mutual funds in the following mutual fund families: Franklin Templeton Investments, Putnam Investments, MFS Investment Management, Fidelity Investments, Evergreen Investments, Alliance Bernstein Investment Research and Management, Van Kampen Investments, AIM Distributors, Inc., Oppenheimer Funds, Inc., Eaton Vance Managed Investments, ING Funds Distributors, LLC, Allianz Global Investors Distributors, LLC, Federated, The Hartford Mutual Funds, Dreyfus Service Corporation, Delaware Investments, Pioneer Investment Management, Inc., Scudder Investments, and Wells Fargo Mutual Funds.

The H.D. Vest Preferred Funds include mutual funds in the following mutual fund families: Oppenheimer Funds, Putnam Investments, Scudder Investments, MFS Investment Management, Van Kampen Investments, Lincoln Financial Distributors, AIM Investments, Phoenix Investment Partners, John Hancock Funds, Wells Fargo Funds, American Funds, and Franklin Templeton Investments.

The action is pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against defendant Wells Fargo & Company and certain of its affiliated entities. The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants served as financial advisors who purportedly provided unbiased and honest investment advice to their clients. Unbeknownst to investors, defendants, in clear contravention of their disclosure obligations and fiduciary responsibilities, failed to properly disclose that they had engaged in a scheme to aggressively push Wells Fargo Investments and H.D. Vest sales personnel to steer clients into purchasing certain Wells Fargo Funds and Wells Fargo and H.D. Vest Preferred Funds (collectively, "Shelf Space Funds") that provided financial incentives and rewards to Wells Fargo and H.D. Vest and their personnel based on sales. The complaint alleges that defendants' undisclosed sales practices created an insurmountable conflict of interest by providing substantial monetary incentives to sell Shelf-Space Funds to their clients, even though such investments were not in the clients' best interest. Wells Fargo Investments and H.D. Vest's failure to disclose the incentives constituted violations of federal securities laws.

The action also includes a subclass of persons who held any shares of Wells Fargo Mutual Funds. The complaint additionally alleges that the investment advisor subsidiary of Wells Fargo, Wells Fargo Funds Management, created further undisclosed material conflicts of interest by entering into revenue sharing agreements with brokers at Wells Fargo Investments and H.D. Vest to push investors into Wells Fargo Funds, regardless of whether such investments were in the investors' best interests. The investment advisors financed these arrangements by illegally charging excessive and improper fees to the fund that should have been invested in the underlying portfolio. In doing so they breached their fiduciary duties to investors under the Investment Company Act and state law and decreased shareholders' investment returns.

The action includes a second subclass of persons who purchased a Wells Fargo Financial Plan that held Wells Fargo Funds. The Wells Fargo Financial Plans include, but are not limited to Full Service Brokerage Accounts, Wells Asset Management accounts, WellsChoice account, and WellsSelect account.

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Tzivia Brody at Stull, Stull & Brody by calling toll-free 1-800-337-4983, or by e-mail at SSBNY@aol.com, or by fax at 212/490-2022, or by writing to Stull, Stull & Brody, 6 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10017. You can also visit our website at www.ssbny.com.

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