The JP Morgan Chase One-Bank Crime Spree Continues as
All Individuals Again Go Unpunished for Enabling Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme
“JP Morgan Chase paying $1.7 billion for its criminal conduct helping Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme is good, but still inadequate to stop what can only be called a one-bank crime spree. First, once again, not a single individual working for JP Morgan Chase has been held accountable. Banks do not commit crimes; bankers do. Until individuals, including executives, are held personally liable, fined and jailed, the crime spree will continue,” said Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets, Inc., an independent nonprofit organization that promotes the public interest in the financial markets.
“Second, it is no penalty to let banks use shareholders money to pay fines. Other people’s money is meaningless to lawbreakers. Third, while the settlement includes significant disclosure of JP Morgan Chase’s assistance to Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, the public deserves more. For example, how much money did JP Morgan Chase make servicing, investing and trading in Madoff’s businesses over the years? How many thousands of investors were ripped off and for how many billions of dollars as a result of JP Morgan Chase’s years-long failures, including repeatedly ignoring red flags of Madoff’s crimes? This information is critical to understanding the action taken today and must be disclosed to the public,’” Mr. Kelleher said.
“Finally, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, should be congratulated for requiring unprecedented disclosure and actual admissions of illegal conduct. However, the real test for justice is whether individuals, including executives, will now be prosecuted and whether the settlement agreement will in fact be enforced against JP Morgan Chase over the next two years,” Mr. Kelleher concluded.
Better Markets is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes the public interest in financial reform in the domestic and global capital and commodity markets. Better Markets advocates for transparency, oversight, and accountability with the goal of a stronger, safer financial system that is less prone to crisis and failure, thereby eliminating or minimizing the need for more taxpayer funded bailouts.