“Federal authorities are preparing to take action in a criminal investigation of JPMorgan Chase, suspecting that the bank turned a blind eye to Bernard L Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
“The Madoff case, coming on the heels of a tentative $13 billion settlement over JPMorgan’s mortgage practices, poses another major threat to the reputation of the nation’s largest bank.
“Reflecting the magnitude of the investigation, prosecutors and JPMorgan have held preliminary discussions about a so-called deferred prosecution agreement, people briefed on the inquiry said. Such an arrangement would suspend criminal charges against JPMorgan in exchange for a fine, certain other concessions and an acknowledgment that the bank will face charges if it fails to behave. Prosecutors may also require JPMorgan, which has repeatedly said that “all personnel acted in good faith” in the Madoff matter, to hire an independent monitor.”
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