Bank liable for conversion of check, no “in pari delicto” defense

In Jones v. Wells Fargo Bank, the Court affirmed liability for conversion when a bank “reaccepted [a check] into an account other than that of the named payee, without the proper endorsement.”  No. 11-10320 (Jan. 9, 2012).   The opinion provides detailed discussion of basic topics in the law of checks: who has the rights of a “holder” under UCC Article 3 (op. at 4-6), proper safeguards for check endorsements (op. at 8-10), and accountholder responsibilities for review of a bank statement.  (Op. at 11-13)  The opinion concludes with review of the “in pari delicto” defense, a significant issue in some corporate governance cases, and notes how the defense can apply differently to receivers as compared to bankruptcy trustees.  (Op. at 13-18)