The U.S. may announce criminal charges as early as this week against former JPMorgan Chase & Co. employees in connection with allegations they tried to conceal losses last year.
Two former JPMorgan employees, executive Javier Martin-Artajo and trader Julien Grout, could face charges of falsifying bank records. A third former employee, trader Bruno Iksil, is cooperating with the government. According to Bloomberg, a person familiar with the matter says the situation remains fluid, and it isn’t currently clear who may ultimately be charged.
The U.S. government’s investigation of JPMorgan Chase has centered on employees mismarking the bank’s books, inflating the value of trades. The trading blowup has resulted in more than $6 billion in losses for JPMorgan, mostly from bets on the health of large corporations such as American Airlines. Authorities suspect the two employees understated the value of their trades in reports to the company’s New York executives in an attempt to hide their losses, a source told The New York Times.
Grout has recently moved from London to France, which may make any potential action from the U.S. government tougher. France has tougher extradition laws than the United Kingdom. Martin-Atajo and his attorney have not released any public comments as of this time, and according to Bloomberg, he is currently away from England with his family.
A civil investigation of JPMorgan by Manhattan prosecutors could yield a fine and a reprimand for allowing the problems to persist. Prosecutors may also attempt to force JPMorgan to bolster the company’s internal controls to guard against a repeat of the massive trading loss.
This isn’t the first time JPMorgan has been in trouble. For more on the banking giant’s legal woes, read these InsideCounsel articles: