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Jeffrey Gundlach Liable For Breach, Awarded $67 Million Anyway

Jeffrey E. Gundlach, ex-bond manager and darling of Trust Company of the West (TCW), received a jury award of $66.7 million in damages despite being found liable for breaching his fiduciary duty and stealing trade secrets at his former firm.

After two days of jury deliberations, Gundlach and three co-defendants were found liable on Friday for breach of fiduciary duty and taking trade secrets from their the mutual fund after he was fired in December 2009. Gundlach was also found liable for interfering with investor contracts.

The verdict, however, was a mixed bag as the jury awarded no damages to TCW for the breach and contract claims, finding that documents and electronic files that Gundlach and his co-defendants took from TCW were not stolen maliciously. As part of a related countersuit filed against TCW, Gundlach and his co-defendants were awarded $66.7 million because of his claim that he was owed millions of dollars in fees for the funds he managed.

Damages over the trade secrets issue – for which TCW is seeking $89 million – will be heard at a later date by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Carl J. West.

Both sides have claimed victory after the mixed verdict was announced with TCW claiming that the jury had validated the firm’s claims, while Gundlach’s side was pleased with the monetary award.

TCW has not indicated whether they will pursue an appeal on Jeffrey Gundlach‘s back pay.