Monday, July 21, 2014
On Thursday, a Circuit Judge in Wisconsin terminated Wells Fargo Bank as trustee of the Chester Bible scholarship trust, furnishing control to the Baraboo Community Scholarship Corporation (BCSC).
For over a year, BCSC and Wells Fargo have disputed over the administration of the trust, which since 1991 has provided generous scholarships to Baraboo High School graduates. Yet in recent years, Wells Fargo has raised its fees for administering the fund while decreasing scholarship awards.
The judge agreed that BCSC would better serve future scholarship recipients since it is a nonprofit operated by volunteers who would administer the trust for free. “It is no longer economic to continue the trust by Wells Fargo because it failed to administer the trust effectively,” wrote Judge Patrick Taggart. Because of the legal battle, Wells Fargo charged nearly $27,000 in legal and accounting fees to the trust in 2013. Judge Taggart denied Wells Fargo’s request to have its attorneys’ fees be paid by BCSC.
See Ben Bromley, Judge Rules Against Bank in Trust Battle, Baraboo News Republic, July 19, 2014.